In a continued time of need, Mission Services is running their annual back-to-school campaign.

From August 3rd until September 30th, Mission Services of London runs Fill Up The Bus. Fill Up The Bus is a back-to-school donation campaign for families being served by Mission Services. The items collected are for youth living at the Rotholme Family Shelter.

A shelf of binders and notebooks inside of a retail store.
School Supplies at Sherwood Mall. Photograph by Elizabeth McDonald

In years before, donors loaded a school bus with supplies for the coming school year. Due to pandemic restrictions, this year’s campaign is virtual. Londoners can buy items through an online catalogue, sharetheblessings.ca.

Here are just some of the items Mission Services needs:

  • Gift cards to big box stores
  • Face masks, standard and child-sized
  • Backpacks
  • Pencils
  • Binders
  • Kleenex
  • Backpacks
  • Erasers
  • Rulers
  • USB sticks
  • Peanut free snacks
  • Calculators
  • New clothing
  • Lunch bags
  • Reusable water bottles/lunch containers
  • Binders
  • Non-marking indoor shoes

What Does Rotholme Do?

Nicole Case is the Communications and PR Coordinator for Mission Services of London. She spoke to LondonFuse about the Fill Up the Bus campaign and the services Rotholme Family Shelter provides. While Rotholme provides emergency shelter, a lot of their services relate to housing support.

The exterior wall of the Rotholme Family Shelter of Mission Services of London.
Rotholme Family Shelter. Photo by Elizabeth McDonald.

“[Workers at Rotholme] will review your lease to make sure that you aren’t actually being evicted, they can work with you on conflict resolution with a landlord, they’ll kind of do anything they can to maintain your current housing situation so that you’re not in a position where you have to come to the shelter.” Rotholme also works with families in the shelter to find housing and ensure they can maintain their homes.

These strategies have allowed Mission Services of London  to divert 95% of families out of Rotholme.

For more information about Mission Services’ homelessness prevention strategies, check out their website. And as fall approaches full swing, consider helping Fill Up the Bus!

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Feature photo by Elizabeth McDonald.

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