South Hills Interfaith Movement distributes hundreds of backpacks to local kids - SHIM

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South Hills Interfaith Movement distributes hundreds of backpacks to local kids

Pittsburgh, PA (July 17, 2017) – South Hills Interfaith Movement (SHIM) will host its annual back-to-school celebrations to provide more than 700 backpacks and new school supplies to children in six South Hills school districts, so they can head back to school feeling confident and ready to learn. There will be three events throughout August, each including special back-to-school activities and appearances from PBS characters, through a special partnership with WQED, and local libraries. Children will have the opportunity to choose their backpack and the school supplies they need.

This year, 700 new JanSport® backpacks were generously donated by the CentiMark Corporation. Throughout the community, organizations, congregations and individuals have hosted new school supply drives to provide items for SHIM to have available for the children.

“New backpacks and school supplies help a child feel ready and confident for a new school year, but there are families in our community who might not be able to afford these items as the cost of preparing kids for school rises each year,” Jim Guffey, SHIM’s executive director, said. “We have an extremely generous and giving community. From local families, to groups, to churches, to businesses, our neighbors have come together to provide school supplies to SHIM in the hopes that every child in the South Hills can start the school year ready for success.”

SHIM operates three food pantries throughout the year, serving 2,600 people this year. Thirty-five percent of those who receive food at the pantries are children.

SHIM will host three back-to-school celebrations, including: Monday, August 14, 1-4 p.m., Baldwin United Presbyterian Church; Thursday, August 17, 10 a.m.-2 p.m. at PPFC; and Friday, August 18, 10 a.m.-2 p.m. at Bethel Park Community Center.

All K – 12 students, regardless of income, living in the following school districts are eligible to receive backpacks and supplies: Baldwin-Whitehall, Bethel Park, Keystone Oaks, Mt. Lebanon, South Park, and Upper St. Clair. Reservations are encouraged. For more information, families can contact Molly Patterson at

South Hills Interfaith Movement (SHIM) is a human services organization dedicated to improving the lives of people in need across the South Hills. This includes working to reduce the devastating effects of suburban poverty among the working poor, unemployed, families, single parents, senior citizens, women, and the high concentration of refugee families in its service area. SHIM works to identify the most critical needs across the South Hills, then develops and implements effective solutions. SHIM aims to empower individuals and families to achieve stability and self-sufficiency by offering short-term help with basic needs (food, clothing, utilities) and longer-term support (employment, financial planning, youth programs, family support) to help people build and sustain promising futures.

For more information, please contact:
Abby Mathieu
412-709-6149 (Office)
304-281-8097 (Mobile)

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