Durham group collects school supplies for children in traumatic situations

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DURHAM, N.C. (WNCN) — When flashing lights fill neighborhoods or first responders are called to overdoses, children are often caught in the middle. 

“It is very, very unsettling at times how traumatic these experiences are for these kids,” said Alexandra Kam, regional supervisor for Youth Villages. 

The nonprofit Youth Villages offers services for kids and young adults who’ve experienced trauma. That can mean growing up with violence, abuse, gangs, mental health issues or more. 

“A lot of our youth’s behaviors, they’re really intense, so sometimes they push their supports away,” said Kam. 

These children are some of the many heading back to school this month. Youth Villages said they need donations for 80 students.

“The families we work with at times, they may not have enough financial stability to spend an extra $100 or more on school supplies for their kids,” said Kam. 

The donations are part of their Backpack Heroes program. The drive for supplies lasts until classes start. 

“They still have to go to school every day and that’s what’s really difficult is because they’re supposed to focus in school while they’re thinking about, ‘Where’s my mom? Am I going to get to see them again?'”

Kam says every backpack, notepad, or set of pens makes a difference with how they start the school year. 

“It just really gives a confidence boost for these kids who may be already feeling a little bit different or outside of their peers,” she said. 

If you’d like to donate school supplies or money to Youth Villages, you can visit their website or you can drop supplies off at 1822 East NC Highway 54, Suite 300, Durham.

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