The Newberry County School Supplies Drive has distributed over 800 packets of supplies to needy students at the start of every school since 1997.
Your help is needed to make the miracle happen again.
“Kids need the right tools to aid them in learning, and your donations can help to provide that,” said Gerdi Lake, who co-chairs the drive with Pat Caldwell.
Lake and Caldwell are hoping not only to receive donations of supplies, but also to receive monetary donations so that supplies can be purchased in bulk at a reduced price.
“With the troubled economy and budget cuts, many basic items such as pencils, pens, and notebook paper cannot be provided by the schools. Only with donations from the community are we able to make sure that all the kids have what they need to get off to a good start,” said Lake.
Your gifts of supplies may be dropped off at the Newberry County Family YMCA, and contributions may be brought to the YMCA or mailed to: School Supplies Drive, c/o Newberry County Family YMCA, PO Box 662, Newberry, SC 29108. (Please make checks to the “YMCA” and put school supplies on the “for” line, if you would like your contribution to be tax-deductible.)
This year, the distribution of supplies will be handled differently. In years past, supplies have been given directly to students on a Saturday before or after the start of school.
Many families walked in the heat to schools where supplies were being distributed—some with babies in strollers and small children in tow. Other families were unable to pick up supplies at all, because of transportation problems.
“Sometimes it seemed that the students who most needed the supplies were unable to come and get them. That is why we wanted to try a different distribution method this year, in the hope of getting supplies to every student who needs them,” Caldwell said.
Teachers and guidance counselors know which of their students could use the help, and boxes of supplies will be delivered to every school for distribution, she said.
Packets include different supplies, based on the grade level: notebook paper, crayons, pencils, pens, color pencils, erasers, scissors, glue sticks, composition notebooks, highlighters and pocket folders. Any of these items may be dropped off at the YMCA.
A limited amount of money is available for bookbags through the year. Teachers or guidance counselors are asked to call 924-8328 for assistance.
Lake expressed her gratitude to the Newberry Family YMCA for its strong support of the drive over the past 16 years.
“It is wonderful to see the children at the YMCA as they assemble packets of school supplies, knowing that their work will make such a difference for other children in need,” she said.
Caldwell added, “If you know families who may need help, please let them know that packets of supplies are available through the guidance counselors.”
The school supplies drive is organized by volunteers and is co-sponsored by the County of Newberry Recreation Department and the Newberry Family YMCA. Its only funding source is donations from local churches, businesses, service groups and individuals.
Last year the Taylor Foundation provided a generous gift for the purchase of supplies, and many additional donations were received in memory of the beloved Danny Layton, who for many years was chief fundraiser for the school supplies drive.
Betty Lou Layton would like to express her great appreciation to everyone who contributed. “I am deeply grateful for the generosity of the wonderful people of Newberry, who dug deep into their pockets in support of the school supplies drive last year. Thank you for your commitment to helping Newberry’s students in need.”
“We are blessed to live in a community that cares so much about young people, and we appreciate everyone’s support in getting every student off to a good start in the new school year,” Caldwell said.