By Traci Chapman
As the heat bears down on summer vacationers, it’s easy to forget the beginning of the new school year isn’t far down the line – but, for those who help children make sure they’re prepared for that milestone, students’ needs are very much on their minds.
That preparation comes in the form of an annual July-August Youth and Family Services school supply drive, which provides needed materials for area children heading back to classes.
“I really love all our product drives, especial this one, because it allows us to partner with the community in a very intentional way to make a big difference for children and youth,” YFS Executive Director John Schneider said.
YFS helps area children and youth in a variety of ways – from its foster program, short-term shelter and other facilities for abused and neglected children to resources for developmentally disabled individuals, independent living and counseling services, Schneider said. The school supply drive benefits children in YFS counseling, foster care and emergency shelter, the director said.
“As a community nonprofit, we are only as strong as our community supporters,” Schneider said. “We must rely on the community as we continue in our mission of ‘caring today for better tomorrows.’”
Several specific items needed include:
• Solid-colored pocket folders with brads
• Loose leaf/wide-ruled notebook paper
• Colored pencils (at least eight to a box)
• Spiral notebooks
• Quart Zip-lock bags
• Construction paper
• Water color paints
• Composition notebooks
• One-inch binders
• Washable markers (box of 12)
• Pencil top erasers
• Small plastic school box
With Mustang, Yukon and many other area school districts starting classes Aug. 16 or shortly after that, drive organizers are working against the clock. Schneider asked anyone wishing to donate supplies or coordinate a business or organization effort to take part to call YFS at 405-262-6555. More information about YFS and its programs is available on its website, located at www.yfsok.org.
“Together, we care for those in need, provide hope for the hopeless and mend what has been broken,” Schneider said. “There’s no way to express the difference we can make for so many with the support of the community.”