HERKIMER – Back to school time can be an exciting time, and an expensive and trying time for families as they buy clothing and supplies for the coming school year. For some, the task can prove impossible.
With that in mind, the Mohawk Valley Rotary Club is in the midst of a backpack and supply-drive. The goal for this first-time drive, according to Rotary Treasurer Elyse Enea, is to collect 75 sturdy backpacks, and then fill those backpacks with a few school essentials. The backpacks and supplies will be given to Frankfort-Schuyler, Herkimer and Central Valley Academy administration to disperse to students in need, she explained.
“Each fall, many Herkimer County students of all ages face the prospect of starting school without adequate supplies,” Enea said. “Providing access to school supplies for children helps to reduce a major barrier to learning.”
“We’ve set a big goal for ourselves,” she continued. “Especially for a first-time event. But hopefully we’ll have the community’s support and we’ll be able to help a lot of students.”
The drive is aimed at all students from kindergarten to twelfth grade, so the supplies needed run the gamut as well. In addition to the 75 backpacks, Rotary Club members are looking for notebooks, filler paper, binders, subject dividers, index cards, folders, children’s scissors, glue, pencils, pencil cases and pencil sharpeners, erasers, markers, crayons, highlighters, rulers, hand sanitizer, facial tissues and Ziploc bags.
Donations can be dropped off at Skinner Sales on State Route 5, Herkimer, Sorrento Pizzeria and Young’s General Store, both on Central Avenue, Ilion, Remington Federal Credit Union in Ilion’s Central Plaza, and Hummel’s Office Plus on West Albany Street in Herkimer.
“It’s financial crunch time for families right now,” said Brian Young, owner of Young’s General Store. “Especially if there’s more than one child in the family. They all need new clothes and new shoes and then school supplies on top of that. It’s not always easy. We’re happy to do what we can to help provide some school supplies to local kids.”
“By coming together as a community, we can help provide students with basic school supplies, this drive will allow for our children to have essential supplies necessary to be successful in school and to help us continue our capacity to serve,” said Heather Irons, Rotary Club president.
The supply-drive kicked off last week on Aug. 9, and will wrap up Sept. 6.