Beyond Backpacks: HDGHA School Supplies Collection Aims to Set Students on Path to Success

A student recipient is all smiles as she models her new backpack from a prior HDGHA School Supplies Collection. HDGHA is accepting donations of new backpacks and other necessary school supplies for the 2022-2023 school year now through August 31. See the wish list here.

Donations of school supplies are needed for children living in the HDGHA Somerset Manor community with extra items to be distributed to other students facing financial hardship; the collection is an outreach program of The SUCCESS Project.

The first day of school is an anxious time for most kids, but for those from families without the means to pay for essential materials it is especially difficult and can be a significant obstacle to education. That is why the Havre de Grace Housing Authority (HDGHA) is seeking donations of school supplies for students living in its Somerset Manor neighborhood, to provide them with the tools they need to have a productive school year and set the course for ongoing success. See the full list of wishedfor supplies here; donations can be dropped off Tuesday-Thursday 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. through August 31 at 101 Stansbury Court in Havre de Grace.

As the county’s only public housing community, HDGHA is home to youth ranging from preschool age through high school. Resident students sometimes arrive just days before a new school year begins, and all are from families with limited budgets. HDGHA started the school supplies collection more than a decade ago to ensure children in this situation, along with others in the community, are as prepared as their classmates for a positive learning experience from the start.

A donation of a filled backpack from a previous HDGHA School Supplies Collection with all the items needed for a successful school year. HDGHA is accepting donations of new backpacks and other necessary school supplies for the 2022-2023 school year now through August 31. See the wish list here.

Wendy Richardson is the HDGHA Family Self-Sufficiency Coordinator and a former teacher. She says, “Financially disadvantaged pupils sometimes struggle to fit in, and not having classroom materials is one more way they can feel left out. It is difficult for teachers and disruptive for other students, too. Providing a full backpack of supplies gives everyone the ability to focus on learning rather than worrying about what someone does or does not have. Our hope is to collect enough items to replenish stock throughout the year as well as share any surplus with other local families in need including clients of The SUCCESS Project.”

HDGHA’s Executive Director Nicki Biggs adds, “The school supplies collection is really just an extension of our organizational mission: It provides families with what they need right now, which gives them the confidence and ability to prepare for what comes next.”

Items needed for the HDGHA School Supplies collection include:

  • 3-ring binders
  • Backpacks (new)
  • Scissors (blunt tip and regular)
  • Colored pencils or markers
  • Composition books
  • Construction paper
  • Crayons (8 pack)
  • Ziploc bags (gallon size and snack size)
  • Glue sticks
  • Hand Sanitizer and Liquid Hand Soap
  • Pens and Highlighters
  • Pencil box/ pouch
  • Playdough
  • Post-It notes–3×3 size
  • Tissues

For more information about the Havre de Grace Housing Authority and Somerset Manor visit

About the Havre de Grace Housing Authority: HDGHA established the Somerset Manor community in the 1970’s and is the only public housing facility in Harford County. It is governed by a Board of Commissioners and managed by a small staff. The mission of the organization is to provide quality, affordable housing opportunities for moderate to low-income individuals and families while promoting self-sufficiency, empowerment, and neighborhood revitalization. HDGHA offers a range of programs to achieve this goal, including the Self- Sufficiency Program (FSS), Homeownership Program, Housing Opportunities for Persons with Disabilities and more.

About The SUCCESS Project: The “SUCCESS” in The SUCCESS Project stands for “Supporting the Upward Climb to Continued Economic Self-Sufficiency.”  The mission of the non-profit is to provide at-risk youth and low-income adults with services that teach life skills and encourage personal economic independence. The program is free and provides case management and referral services in the following areas: education, job training, employment opportunities, health care, financial education, credit counseling, home ownership, career advancement, transportation, life skills and entrepreneurship.

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