11/07/10 — Drive nets local organization $9,815 in school supplies

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Drive nets local organization $9,815 in school supplies

By Phyllis Moore
Published in News on November 7, 2010 1:50 AM

A school supplies drive organized by Communities in Schools has generated more than $9,815 worth of items for distribution throughout the school system, said Sudie Davis.

The "Stuff the Bus" campaign kicked off in August with a large blue school bus parked in front of the News-Argus on Berkeley Boulevard, said Mrs. Davis, executive director of Communities in Schools in Wayne County.

"It really set the tone for us, I think," she said. "That brought in $3,480 worth."

Since then, other businesses and organizations have rallied behind the cause.

"Strickland Insurance Company did a drive for us and Military Officers Group did Operation Backpack, First Citizens did a drive for us, the Golden Agers Club from Parks and Recreation collected supplies, and we had two or three individuals who came in with supplies," Mrs. Davis said.

Supplies are distributed in response to orders placed by school social workers, she explained.

But Communities in Schools also assists in other directions, when needed. For example, if a family experiences a fire and a child needs school supplies, requests might come in from the American Red Cross.

Or the Boys & Girls Club might become aware of a child or family who could benefit from some help.

The gifts and donations are disseminated as quickly as possible, Mrs. Davis said.

"We have packed 58 boxes that have been delivered to schools so far," she said. "We still do have some supplies on hand that school social workers can access through the rest of the year. ... Without the generous contributions, these children might not have the tools they need to succeed."

Cash donations have also benefited the cause, so that when an unanticipated need is received, her office will have the means to go out and purchase items.

"It amazed me with the economy like it is, that we continue to get so much for the kids," Mrs. Davis said. "For the most part, we really have been able to keep pace with the requests."

In addition to providing the typical spiral notebook, pens and pencils and glue sticks, it has helped to have money to buy those items that aren't usually generated from drop-offs.

"One of the things that much of the money helped with last year -- our kids are doing so much on computers now and they have to have USB drives -- last year I'll bet I bought 40 or 50 of those," she said. "It's expensive. I think that we did help tremendously.

"This year I watched the ads because I had a little money left over from last year, and went out and bought all (the store) had."

To donate to the ongoing school supply drive, contact Mrs. Davis at 735-1432.