Non-profit drives community together, helps schools
by Natalie Netzel Staff Writer
NEWBERRY — Every school in the Newberry County School District received free school supplies last week following a community wide school donation drive.
The drive was coordinated by Newberry Department of Social Services employees Pandora Jones and Deborah Blizzard and Cynthia Vannerson of Hampton Inn in Newberry.
The school supply drive was part of an effort of the non-profit Helping Hands, which stands for Helping Every Living Person in Newberry Grow — Homeless Awareness Needs Dedicated Service. In addition to the school supplies, $190 was also donated. Each school received 500 school supplies last Thursday.
The schools included Newberry Elementary, Newberry Middle, Newberry Alternative, Newberry High, Boundary Elementary, Reuben Elementary, Gallman Elementary, Pomaria Garmany Elementary, Prosperity Rikard Elementary, Mid-Carolina Middle, Mid-Carolina High, Little Mountain Elementary and Whitmire Community School.
The overall goal of the group is to raise funds to put toward a homeless shelter in the county. The Point in Time homeless count held earlier this year indicated there were 13 homeless people in Newberry County.
Jones, who organized Newberry’s homeless count, said she and Vannerson met at a Newberry Cultivating Community event and just clicked. They decided to work together to do something about the homeless population in the county.
Vannerson said the donations were given by community members including Hampton Inn employees, DSS employees, Logos Christian Church ministry member Gloria Lee, Wal-Mart and Tynesha Bates, 7, who made a donation by saving up money.
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