By John McDevitt
PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Thanks to a giveaway today, nearly a thousand needy students in the Philadelphia school district who didn’t have a backpack or basic supplies now have them.READ MORE: 2 Suspects Fatally Shot During Home Invasion In South Philadelphia, Police Say
On the loading dock of the building where the School District of Philadelphia is headquartered, staff members from various schools were loading up vehicles with bookbags and other essential supplies to bring back to the most needy students at their schools.
“We identify every year about 4,600 to 5,000 homeless students in the City of Philadelphia that are in school,” says Al Quarles (right), the school district’s coordinator of homeless and emergency services. “And then you also have a lot of children who are just living in tough times right now, with the economy and everything else, so this is definitely a serious issue. So anything we can do to help that is a definite blessing to the students.”READ MORE: Officer Fires Gun During Struggle With Suspect Wanted For Stealing Car, Philadelphia Police Say
Ludy Soderman is the school district’s director of the multilingual family support office. She says the supplies will help a number of the immigrant families she encounters.
“(It) will allow me to go into the neighborhood and distribute this to the families, and then see the miracle of relief in the face because someone doesn’t have to worry about, ‘How am I going to get this for my family?’ as they struggle to settle in this new country. It is awesome and I am truly very, very thankful,” she said today.MORE NEWS: Federal Fire Safety Policy Inspired By Deadly Fairmount Fire Headed To US House Floor For Vote