08/09/05 — Campaign launched to provide school supplies

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Campaign launched to provide school supplies

By Phyllis Moore
Published in News on August 9, 2005 1:48 PM

A campaign to provide school supplies to needy students collected nearly $6,000 worth of materials last year and organizers hope they can do even better this year.

Sudie Davis, the executive director of the Communities in Schools program in Wayne County, said the "School Stuff" campaign meets an often overlooked need among many families.

"Last year, we collected about $5,700 worth of school supplies that I distributed to families that were struggling with providing them," she said. "We have never been able to fill all of the orders; we always have unmet needs."

Mrs. Davis said Communities in Schools works with the Department of Social Services and other agencies to identify families needing help. Donations are then divided among all grade levels in Wayne County Public Schools.

"I'm in and out of the schools," she said. "People say, 'You don't know how much those school supplies meant.' The people in the schools that help distribute the supplies are so appreciative of the community's efforts to meet those needs."

Davis said two items that are always in short supply are backpacks and composition books.

The complete list of items requested includes: backpacks, ballpoint pens, colored pencils, markers, crayons, erasers, three-hole pocket folders, glue sticks, glue, index cards, binders, filler paper, 70-sheet spiral notebooks, both wide and narrow rules, composition notebooks, 4x6 memo cards, pencil cases, number two pencils, pencil sharpeners, rulers, children's scissors, highlighters, White Out, Post-it notes, index dividers, boxes and packets of tissues, pencil pouches, and pencil boxes.

Mrs. Davis said two local corporate sponsors this year are the UPS Store on Cashwell Drive and SunCom on Berkeley Boulevard. Both will serve as drop-off points for school supplies. There will also be a collection box at the Wayne County Chamber of Commerce office on North William Street.

Donations will be accepted during regular business hours through August.

Mrs. Davis said once the drive wraps up, she expects items to be delivered within the first week or so after school starts.

There will also be a "Stuff the Bus" day later this month as another incentive to donate school supplies. A school bus will be parked in a prominent location where donors can drop off items for the cause.

"Our goal is to stuff the bus," Mrs. Davis explained. "We didn't come close to stuffing the bus last year, but were surprised with the number of people who stopped and donated money so we could buy the supplies that we needed."