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County’s school supply drive begins


Originally published: Jun. 20, 2013
Last modified: Jun. 20, 2013

Heather Samudio

Schools have just recently closed for the summer, but the 8th annual Ashe County School Supply Drive is already gearing up for the next school year.

Beginning Monday, June 24, individuals, families, businesses, organizations and churches can begin donating supplies to help local children start school with the items they need.

Sponsored by the Ashe County Volunteer Initiative, new school supplies are collected until Monday, Aug. 12.

“At the end of the drive, all supplies are collected, counted and divided among all five Ashe County schools and delivered to the school guidance counselors,” Glenda Luther, Ashe County volunteer coordinator, said. “The school counselors know which children are in the most need and those children receive the supplies.

 “It will run a little longer this year due to the schools starting back Aug. 20,” Luther said. “This will give the community more time to help support the drive.”

Drop off locations include all Life Store Banks, Fifth Third Bank, First Citizens Bank, Ashe County Public Library, Ashe Services for Aging and Ingles Market.

Gift cards as well as cash donations will also be accepted and are used to purchase more supplies.

According to County Health Rankings and Roadmaps, 31 percent of Ashe County children are living in poverty. The report is a collaboration between the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the University of Wisconsin Population Health Institute.

This statistic makes a case for donating to the drive.

“As you know, this can be a difficult and stressful time for many families who don’t have the money to purchase needed school supplies for their children,” Luther said. “There are children who start the school year without anything. School supply drives can lessen that burden for those families and allow the children to start the year with confidence.”

Typical items are needed, including paper, pencils, pens, notebooks, crayons, markers, glue, binders, book bags and calculators.

Luther said Walmart has a display with information about what each teacher is requesting.

During last year’s drive, more than 2,500 packages of supplies were donated, and each year, there is an average of $500 to $1,000 in monetary donations divided among the schools.

“A lot of the supplies donated are more suited for elementary schools such as crayons, markers and glue,” Luther said. “So, the middle school and high school receive the majority of the monetary donations to help purchase the supplies they are in need of.

“Each year, a couple of volunteers and I deliver the supplies to each school,” she continued. “Each school counselor and the principles are very appreciative and grateful to get the supplies. They inform me of how much it means to be able to support the children who are in such need and how it helps the children start the school year with confidence and good self esteem.”

For more information on the upcoming drive, contact Luther at (336) 246-4347 or email (Glenda.luther@ashecountygov.com)

For more information and stories, see Ashe Mountain Times.