Children in DHR custody get back to school clothes

Pictured are Peter Strogov, Angela Bell and Danielle Blalock. 

Fort Payne Pediatrics and We’ve Got Your Back are kicking off their fourth annual Operation Back to School fundraiser.

This fundraiser is set to help DeKalb County children who are in DHR custody get ready for the upcoming school year.

Danielle Blalock, nurse practitioner at Fort Payne Pediatrics and president of the not-for-profit organization, We’ve Got Your Back, said this fundraiser is aimed solely at buying the children in DHR custody back to school clothing.

“The impact of new school clothes is truly immeasurable, especially to a child who is already facing many hardships and insecurities,” Blalock said.

According to Blalock, there are currently 138 children from DeKalb County in DHR custody, and 83 of these children will be starting school in August.

“Our goal is to provide each of the 83 children starting school this year with a $200 gift card to purchase shirts, pants, shoes and a jacket,” Blalock said.

Blalock said many of these children would not be able to have new back to school clothing without this assistance.

“What we, as adults, see as simply shirts, pants and shoes, is much more for a child or teen,” she said. “They see that new outfit as a way to avoid embarrassment, shame, or bullying, a way to feel like they belong and fit in, and a way to stay warm in the winter.”

According to Blalock, last year’s fundraiser was able to raise $18,250 that was divided among 70 children in DHR custody in DeKalb County.

“We are asking that you personally, or your business, help us reach our goal of $13,600,” said Blalock.

Blalock said each donation of $100 or more will have the option to receive special recognition on the Fort Payne Pediatrics Facebook page.

“By giving these children and teens this added security, it can also allow them to better focus on learning and achievement in school,” Blalock said.

Blalock said the deadline for donations is July 26. She said this quickly-approaching deadline is to allowed for ample time for the children to go back-to-school shopping.

Checks can be made payable to We’ve Got Your Back, memo: operation back to school.

Blalock said upon disbursement of fund donations, either name or anonymous will be published along with the total amount raised and the amount disbursed.

Blalock said to direct any questions or concerns to her at 256-997-5900 or email her at dblalock@fortpaynepeds.com.

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