Market Overview

First Joint Back to School Operations for Welcome Hall Mission and Regroupement Partage to Help 7,500 Children in Need and Their Families


MONTREAL, Aug. 14, 2018 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Because it is estimated that about one in five children live below the poverty line in Montreal and that this trend is increasing each year, Welcome Hall Mission and Regroupement Partage are joining forces for the first time this year to combine their back to school operations in the hope to raise the awareness of a greater number of Montrealers to this sad reality.

Logos MBA+RP
Logos MBA+RP

This year, thanks to the generosity of hundreds of volunteers and donors, the events Opération Sac à dos of Regroupement Partage and Rentrée la tête haute of Welcome Home Mission will help nearly 7,500 children going back to school this Fall by distributing school supplies and goods estimated at about $900,000. These operations are a way to help reduce the dropout rate among youth by helping underprivileged families who often struggle to pay for the costs of school-related fees and supplies estimated to cost more than $500 per child.

Rentrée la Tête Haute:
The strength of a dedicated team

  • August 14th and 15th from 9 AM to 4 PM at the Welcome Hall Mission located on Acorn Street (reserved for families who have registered in advance).
  • Distribution of 3,200 backpacks filled with new school supplies and shoes for the school year (up 27% compared to last year).
  • Retail value of approximately $135 per child, for a total of $432,000.
  • 350 volunteers during 2 days ensure the distribution.
  • Reduced prices at La Boutique to dress the whole family.
  • Many activities to entertain children will be offered during the two days of distribution.

Opération Sac à Dos:
a presence everywhere in Montréal

  • From August 14 to 17 in 17 Magasins-Partage throughout Montreal.
  • Distribution of 4,500 backpacks filled with school supplies and insulated lunch boxes.
  • Retail value between $120 and $360 per family, for a total of $500,000 to 8,500 people (parents and children).
  • For families who will also want to stock their larder, a voluntary contribution of 10% of the actual cost of groceries is required from participants.
  • Fundraising operation on August 23, 2018.
  • To view the schedule of collection points, visit the

"Back to school is a period of high financial stress for disadvantaged or low-income families. By empowering these children and their families while introducing them to a support network, we help them break the isolation and improve their quality of life. We strongly believe that in the face of important issues in the fight against poverty, organizations must collaborate and work together to better support families. We are very happy with this first concerted effort with Welcome Hall Mission for Back to School, with whom we are already collaborating on other programs," explains Sylvie Rochette, Co-founder and Executive Director of Regroupement Partage.

"We fully believe in each child's potential," says Sam Watts, president and CEO of Welcome Hall Mission. By making it easier for kids to get back to school, we make sure they are well equipped to arrive in school at the same level as their classmates. For us, education is an insurance policy that will have a direct impact on the fight against poverty. By helping youth coming from disadvantaged backgrounds today, we are helping to reduce the number of clients who will need our services in the future."

"It is important for my administration to support, in different ways, organizations that do outstanding work in the field to help the most vulnerable Montrealers. And my dearest wish is that all the children of our city can have the same chances at education, so I encourage all initiatives that go in this direction, including this first joint operation of Welcome Hall Mission and Regroupement Partage," said Mayor of Montreal, Valérie Plante.

"These days of distribution allow thousands of families and their children to experience back to school with joy and dignity! We know that such initiatives are made possible through the perseverance, collaboration and dedication of many people. I would like to thank and acknowledge the invaluable contributions of partners, employees and volunteers who, through their altruism, contribute to the well-being of our children," said Dominique Anglade, Deputy Premier and Member of Parliament for Saint-Henri-Saint Anne.

For Marie-José Mastromonaco, Vice-president of the Commission scolaire de Montréal:  "We must encourage initiatives such as the ones organized by Regroupement Partage and Welcome Hall Mission, which make a real difference for families and students each year. For thousands of them, this boost will allow them to begin the school year in the same spirit as their classmates while relieving their parents of some of the financial burden associated with the start of the school year. I invite the public to generously support this action which creates essential conditions for educational success."

"Despite the good performance of the economy and employment in Montreal, the fact remains that social inequalities are present and have a significant impact on student retention. They are less important than elsewhere in the world, and therefore easier to fill, which is why we are asking the public to give generously to allow Regroupement Partage and Welcome Hall Mission to continue their much needed actions to help underprivileged youth to stay in school. Maybe they will be the doctors who will cure your cancer one day!" exclaims Patrick de Bellefeuille, Presenter at MétéoMédia and Spokesperson for Opération Sac à dos.

"Even today, too many families in Montreal have to make the difficult choice between buying food and getting school supplies," says Martine St-Clair, Composer/performer and Regroupement Partage's ambassador. When we know that one in four children will not graduate from high school and that poverty has a direct effect on the success of these young people, we must stand together and make every effort to place them on the road to success right now."

About Welcome Hall Mission

For 17 years, the families who are members of Welcome Hall Mission have benefited from the Rentrée la Tête Haute event. This backpack distribution is made possible thanks to the generous contribution of partners such as Aldo, Hydro Québec, Home Depot, Lepage, Pro-Fêtes, Mad Science, Staedtler and Ansys. Established more than 125 years ago, Welcome Hall Mission has become the largest doorway to help for Montrealers in need. Many programs are available to support the homeless, young single mothers, families, children and youth.  Every week, more than 3,000 people eat with food distributed by Welcome Hall Mission, representing a total of nearly a million kilograms of food annually. Welcome Hall Mission aims to give them hope with concrete actions and effective solutions to help them improve their lives and reintegrate into society. These services are made possible by generous donors and over 100,000 hours of volunteer work.

To follow Welcome Hall Mission:


About Regroupement Partage 
The Opération Sac à Dos is an initiative of the Regroupement Partage, made possible by its loyal partners such as MétéoMédia, 98.5 FM, the Canadian Tire Jumpstart Foundation, the Commission scolaire de Montréal, and the STM. Since it was founded 20 years ago, the organization has donated $13.5 million worth of food and consumer products to more than 500,000 Montrealers in need. The Magasins-Partage helps 27,700 people annually in some twenty Montreal neighborhoods at the start of the school year and at Christmas.

To follow Regroupement Partage: 


For more information or to schedule an interview, please contact:

For Welcome Hall Mission:
   Sophie Allard, APR                                                     
   514-499-3030, ext. 771                                              

For Regroupement Partage:
   Karine Casault

A photo accompanying this announcement is available at

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