It’s almost time to start thinking “back-to-school.” Give me a few more weeks of sunshine and bliss, you say, I don’t want to think about that!
No worries. The department stores will start thinking for you! Soon you’ll see those familiar pencil and notebook towers nearly blockading the aisles of stores like Target and Wal-Mart.
The demand for parents to provide school supplies increases each year, easily costing families between $100 and $200 per child—and that doesn’t include clothing costs! These days, students are not only required to show up that first week with the usual pencils, pens, notebooks, and calculators, but schools also ask that each student contribute classroom supplies like hand sanitizer, paper towels, and boxes of Kleenex.
For the approximately 15% of Ashland County’s residents living in poverty, these costs (think $400+ per child when adding clothing costs) are simply too great a burden. This is especially taxing on households run by single mothers, 50% of whom live below the poverty line in our state.
That’s why caring volunteers like you are so important. Alongside Associated Charities, you have an opportunity to guarantee that Ashland County’s school-age kids have what they need to succeed this year academically. Nearly half of all donations that we receive at Associated Charities come from valued donors like you.
This year, we are looking for basic school supplies and—because there’s nothing worse than showing up to school with less than adequate attire—clothing items to help our local school children meet educational expectations and dress for success.
Here are a few valuable ways you can add donation actualization to your August routine:
1. Each time you visit your local dollar store this next month spend just five extra dollars on school supplies. This won’t hit your budget hard, and the little extra spent will add up to a lot of pencils and hand sanitizer.
2. Speaking of things like hand sanitizer and Kleenex...don’t you usually purchase these items for yourself? Well, this month, for every box and bottle you grab off of the department store shelf for you, grab another for school!
3. And don’t keep all the donation enjoyment to yourself! Consider decorating a box or paper grocery bag (sequins, feathers, have fun!) with SCHOOL SUPPLIES in large letters. Set it beside the front door as a reminder to pick up a few things when you go out to run errands and add them to the box or bag when you return.
4. Need help coming up with ideas? Target.com has simplified your request by providing this nifty tool for looking up local school supply lists. Print your local school’s list and tack it to your refrigerator door so you’ll be reminded of what students need this coming school year.
5. In fact, Target has done you a lot of favors by also providing easy links to various schools items on this same page, including links to $1, $3, $5, and $10 items. On a budget yourself? Don’t assume you can’t make a difference! Simply shop that $1 page. You could benefit three children by spending only $3—and this will mean a lot to those three.
6. Backpacks are another school necessity that many families cannot afford. Keep your eye on back-to-school sales and purchase a backpack for one or two kids. Go a bit further and fill them up with pens, pencils, notebook, and a calculator if you can.
7. Finally, there’s nothing worse than showing up to school in less than adequate clothing. Every time you walk into your local department store, simply grab an item or two off the clearance racks and send local students to school this year with new shirts, jeans, socks, shoes, etc.
Together, we have the opportunity to put smiles on the faces of countless school-age children in our community.
Can you picture it?
That pre-teen boy ready to work hard and make new friends this year because he’s not embarrassed to show up at school in stained Ts and old Nikes. And, he’s got Sharpie highlighters to help him study, a sturdy binder to keep things organized, as well as a scientific calculator to make sure he scores well on tests in math.
Or that six-year-old girl outfitted with a new Wonder Woman backpack filled with Yoobi pencils, a pair of dull red scissors, a Finding Dory water bottle, and a notebook that says, “Believe in Yourself,”... just the message she needs to hear to excel in school.
Here in Ashland County, we believe in our kids, and we also believe that you want to join us in making sure this school year is their most positive school experience yet!