Seventeen SSDP physicians, staff and family members took time from their busy schedules in September to stuff backpacks for the non-profit organization, School on Wheels of Massachusetts (SOWMA). The volunteers, who ranged in age from preschoolers to retirees, filled 89 backpacks with school essentials, including: pens, pencils, pencil boxes and highlighters; rulers, folders, 3-ring binders; and composition books; square root calculators; scientific calculators and more. The newly filled backpacks will be distributed by SOWMA to students impacted by homelessness in grades K-12 across the state. SSDP also gave a generous donation to the organization.
The only organization in Massachusetts providing educational advocacy and customized educational support to over 200 students a week at 15 program sites as well as 35 college students enrolled at 12 different schools throughout New England, SOWMA plans to distribute a total of 1,500 fully stocked backpacks to children living in shelters, motels and transitional apartments this year. SSDP has supported SOWMA since the practice’s 2008 founding, and has participated in many SOWMA events, such as the annual Outrunning Homelessness Race and Walk.