It’s a busy morning for former teacher Stephanie Strobel, making the first of two stops Thursday. As the boxes are being removed from her van, she feels the culmination of a heartfelt effort to help children kick off the school year right.
“There’s no reason why they can’t have the tools that they need to be successful,” said Strobel.
Over the past two weeks, she and her Mesa neighborhood of Eastmark teamed up to fill a major gap, filling hundreds of paper bags with thousands of necessities to be left on doorsteps, picked up and delivered by Strobel.
“It really just starts with one person, just giving one item, it’s not that hard and I don’t want it to be hard so that people want to keep continuing to help and most people do,” said Strobel. "During my 15 years in education, there were so many times where kids just didn't have the supplies they needed."
The first batch dropped off to Maggie's Place in Phoenix, an organization that supports women and their children in transitional housing.
“People don’t think about how expensive school supplies are, and quite honestly now it’s difficult to get some of them, and to be able to send a little peanut off with a backpack that’s loaded with the things that they need, and take that burden off of mom, it really helps a lot with our families,” said Laura Magruder with Maggie’s Place.
From Maggie's Place to Mesa Public Schools where hundreds of children from unstable homes or low-income families will soon receive a much-needed hand.
“It’s a very concrete way to make these children feel welcome, be a part of their school, be participating fully,” said Pat Estes with Mesa Schools.
The kindness strangers id helping those children to fully realize their potential by removing barriers wherever they stand.
“I’m just grateful that I live in such a wonderful community that can give, and they’re joyful givers, they really are,” said Strobel.