School supply drive ongoing


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Joanne Berry and Mary Garroni, family and community development co-ordinators with the Donwood Family Resource Centre, are looking for donations of new or gently used backpacks, shoes, and water bottles for kids in the centre’s breakfast and lunch program.


School may be out, but staff at Family Dynamics are working through the summer to ensure the children in their programs are ready when school’s back in session in September.

“By the end of the year, the backpacks we’re seeing are getting pretty tattered and worn,” said Joanne Berry, family and community development co-ordinator with the Donwood Family Resource Centre (6-64 Donwood Dr.). “We’re trying to get ahead of the game, so by September, we’re not scrambling.”

Throughout the summer, all Family Dynamics’ resource centres in Winnipeg will be collecting new and gently used backpacks and shoes, along with new reusable water bottles, to outfit the kids in their programs in the fall.

“We’re looking for the community to chip in,” said Berry, who runs the programs at Donwood with Mary Garroni. “We want to make sure everyone is set up for the new school year and give the kids something to be excited about. Like, ‘I’ve got this awesome new gear and I’m ready for the new year!’”

Donwood Family Resource Centre provides breakfast for 25 students at nearby John Pritchard School daily. In the fall, they also plan to provide lunch.

“They’ll need space in their bags for breakfast and lunch,” Berry added.

The Donwood Family Resource Centre is one of seven centres operated by Family Dynamics in Winnipeg, which includes the Plessis Family Resource Centre in Transcona, Keenleyside Tenants Community Centre in East Elmwood and the Woodydell/St. Anne’s Family Resource Centre in St. Vital.

Donations can be made at any of the following locations in Winnipeg, though Berry noted it would be prudent to call ahead: 401-393 Portage Ave., 204-947-1401; 1417 Fife St., 204-632-5992; Unit 1-25 Doncaster, 204-488-2133; 76-D Westgrove Way, 204-832-3770; 22-394 Keenleyside St., 204-777-1215; Unit 68625 Ste. Anne’s Rd., 204-254-8581; or 6-64 Donwood Dr., 204-336-2752.

Sheldon Birnie

Sheldon Birnie
Community Journalist

Sheldon Birnie is a reporter/photographer for the Free Press Community Review. The author of Missing Like Teeth: An Oral History of Winnipeg Underground Rock (1990-2001), his writing has appeared in journals and online platforms across Canada, the U.S. and the U.K. A husband and father of two young children, Sheldon enjoys playing guitar and rec hockey when he can find the time. Email him at Call him at 204-697-7112

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