How’s everyone feeling on this first Friday of the school year? Exhausted? Cranky? Ready for a night of sleep without the alarm going off in the morning? We hear you. But, imagine if this exhaustion and crankiness were the least of your problems this school year. Imagine if you came to “unpack your backpack” or “meet the teacher night” and your little one didn’t even have a backpack, or the school supplies needed for the year. In this busy season of the year, when the grocery cart is overloaded with sack-lunch necessities and after-school snacks, let’s slow down a minute and remember to be thankful for the chaos, for the piles of notebooks and pencils on our kitchen tables, and for the crisp, new outfits our little ones are wearing in the obligatory back-to-school photos on the front porch.
This year, we at the Iowa City Moms Blog decided to try and help those in our community who might be needing a little extra help this year. We wanted to serve a community dinner, a chance for families to get together and enjoy a free dinner that they didn’t have to cook (or clean up after!), to sit and chat and enjoy the last bit of summer with their kids. In addition, we wanted to do what we could to help the kids prepare for the school year by bringing them some supplies to take home as well.
And so, by a wonderful collaboration of our team, the generous donations of YOU readers, and the help of some amazing local businesses, “Pizza & Pencils” was born. We are so happy to report that we were able to fill FIVE HUNDRED backpacks! Each backpack was filled with 6 school supplies from the school supply list, and the kids were also able to decorate their bags with their names or some fun designs (they had so much fun with that!). In addition to the backpacks, we were also able to serve each and every family member a slice of pizza, a yummy dessert, and an ice cold glass of lemonade. What a wonderful evening!
Special Thanks To…
A huge shout-out to the following local businesses, who contributed supplies, food and drinks, and monetary donations to help us purchase the items for the backpacks: The Family Dental Center, National Dance Academy, Iowa Gym Nest, Congruent Life Chiropractic, Hills Bank & Trust, Mottinger Real Estate Group, University of Iowa Community Credit Union, HyVee (Cedar Rapids), Sanctuary Community Church, Reinhart Food Service, Edward Jones Investments, Linder Tire Service, and Performance Food Group.
An EXTRA shout out to Congruent Life Chiropractic and Iowa Gym Nest (both locations!!) for providing drop-off locations for families to bring in donations for the event. This was so helpful in gathering the items, and we are so grateful for your support!
YOU, our readers!
You guys are AMAZING, as always!! Thank you for each and every share on Facebook, for telling your friends about the event, and for picking up a few extra school supplies in your cart and taking the time to bring them to one of our drop-off locations. THIS is the true definition of community, and we are so thankful for each and every one of you!!
ICMB contributor team
I wanted to give some extra love to my AWESOME contributor team, made up of 24 moms from the corridor. I could not host ANY of these events without their help, and I’m so proud to see their faces welcoming guests at ICMB events. Thank you for all of your help in planning, putting together, and setting up/serving/cleaning up! Cheers to a successful first Pizza & Pencils event! We look forward to doing this again for future school years!
Scroll down to see more photos from the evening! Have a great school year, everyone!