Blog: School supplies make small but important difference in a child’s life

By Meghan Slater

Hi! For those who don’t know me, my name is Meghan Slater. I’ve lived and worked in the area for about 12 years now. I am the co-chair of Middlesex United Way’s Young Leader Society, and couldn’t be more proud of the work United Way does in our community.

Several of the years I’ve spent here were as a single mother, struggling to make ends meet. Even working full time (for a very good company making much more than minimum wage), plus Care for Kids child care assistance, living in City housing, receiving WIC… we still lived paycheck to paycheck down to the penny. The time of year I dreaded the most, other than Christmas, was the beginning of the school year. I would get a letter in the mail from the new teacher with a list of supplies my daughter was supposed to have, plus the obligatory first day outfit and new shoes, and I would start strategizing what we could go without -- like maybe water down the milk -- in order to fill that demand. Thinking back on it still fills me with anxiety years later!

That’s why I’m so excited about our upcoming event. It’s a lot like our annual “Stuff a Cruiser” event when we collect toys to distribute to local kids for the holidays, but this time we are looking to stuff some backpacks full of things that the kids need to do well and participate at school. It’s an opportunity for us to come together again as a community, support those in need, and make a small but important difference in a child’s life. Every little bit will help!

And while we are at it, we may as well rock out to some great 80s music at a gorgeous spot on the river!

More details on the event can be found here:

Hope to see you next Tuesday!


Below, Meghan with her daughter Moira, on Moira's first day of first grade in 2009.