Salvation Army seeks help with school supplies

Salvation Army Capt. Beth Swyers displays some of the many children's "school bus adoption tags" still awaiting community volunteers to step up by Friday to buy each child a backpack and fill it. The Salvation Army staff need community help to finish this annual project.

The Salvation Army needs the community’s help, quickly, for this year’s school supply drive.

As school districts plan for reopening and families plan to send their children back in the Fall, the Salvation Army is asking for help from the community to make the return to school a success for those families in need.

This year they registered about 220 youngsters whose parents asked for help, and while the yellow school bus tags have been displayed at the Kroc Center for about two weeks, and more recently at Walmart, community response has been slower than usual, according to Kerrville Salvation Army Capt. Beth Swyers.

She said last week that of the approximately 220 tags with student names, schools, grade levels, and supply lists that they prepared for display, less than 15 percent of them had been taken by community residents to “adopt.”

The Salvation Army is hosting the school supply drive through this Friday, July 31.

The announced deadline to return the filled backpacks is Aug. 3. They will be given to the registered families and children shortly after that date.

They are seeking donations to help fill the gap.

Supplies needed include:

• Wide rule notebook paper;

• 1-subject wide ruled spirals;

• No. 2 pencils;

• Glue sticks;

• Pointed scissors;

• Pencil pouches;

• Five-subject dividers;

• Crayons (24 pack);

• Map pencils (12 pack);

• Wide-ruled composition books;

• Red, blue and black pens.

“We’re spending our funds – about $1,000 so far – to buy the same kinds of supplies so we can fill backpacks here with what the kids need, because we know we will have tags left over that people didn’t take home,” Swyers said. “If anyone out in the community wants to help by giving us cash, or buying empty backpacks and miscellaneous school supplies and a pair of shoes, and dropping them off here, we’ll fill the backpacks here.”

She said this year, at least one area resident went online to Amazon and ordered school supplies, sort of a bulk package, and had it shipped to the Kroc Center, a new possibility in Swyers’ experience.

For some families, this time is met with excitement, while for others it is met with anxiety. For parents, this time can cause a financial burden, so they turn to the Salvation Army for assistance.

Donations can be dropped off at the Kroc Center, 201 Holdsworth Dr.

They recently completed registration for those families that need help with supplies, backpacks and shoes; and asked the community for their help by adopting local children and shop for them.

Bus-shaped tags, labeled with children’s names, can be picked up at the Salvation Army Kroc Center, 201 Holdsworth Dr.; or at the Walmart location on Junction Highway.

Once a person or family adopts a bus (child), they are asked to purchase a new backpack, new shoes, and the child’s required school supplies and return all those items to the Kroc Center, labeled with the child’s name.

See tags for instructions, child’s age, school and grade, supply list and shoe size.

Monetary donations are also greatly appreciated and can be dropped off at the Kroc Center at 201 Holdsworth Drive, Kerrville, TX 78028.

The Salvation Army extends a huge “Thank you” to the many individuals, businesses, and churches who make this program a success. Because of their generosity, local children are able to start the new school year off right.

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