Local News

Salvation Army offers Tools for kis

Date: 7/20/2010

Posted by Salvation Army on 7/26/2010

The Garden City Telegram

July 20, 2010
Section: Local News

   Monica Springer



The Salvation Army wants children to have the proper school supplies once school begins in August.


That's why it is organizing its annual Tools for Schools program, which gives children from low income families a backpack full of paper, notebooks, pens, pencils and other school supplies.


"So many kids start out school without the tools they need," said Robert DeLeon, director of the Salvation Army's community center at 203 N. Eight St. "They're already at a disadvantage."


DeLeon ordered 600 backpacks, and at $22 a piece, including supplies, the total cost will be about $13,000. DeLeon said the Salvation Army is looking for people in the community who want to donate $22 for a backpack and supplies, people who want to donate school supplies or people who want to volunteer to help distribute the supplies to families.


DeLeon said any supplies that are on school lists in grocery stores are needed at the Salvation Army. That includes glue, pencils, paper, pens and other supplies.


To get the backpacks, parents can go to the Salvation Army from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Aug. 3 through 5. DeLeon said parents should bring the paperwork stating that their kids receive free or reduced lunches at school or bring in food stamp paperwork in order to receive a backpack with supplies.


DeLeon said if parents do not have the necessary paperwork, an evaluation will be done on the parents' income and bills to see if their children qualify to get free school supplies.


DeLeon and Salvation Army Capt. Craig Lurtz said they wanted to encourage teachers who see students without school supplies to contact the Salvation Army so it can give the children the proper tools.


"Kids should not be in school without the supplies they need," DeLeon said. "We want to make sure kids are prepared to learn. It will make a difference in a child's life."


As a teacher in Garden City USD 457, DeLeon said he saw firsthand children whose parents couldn't afford to buy new school supplies each year. He said he doesn't want to see that happen.


"We want the kids to know that we care for them and love them. We want them to know that someone is there for them," DeLeon said.


Lurtz said that in past years, families have gone shopping for their children's school supplies and bought an extra item of everything, then donated the extra items to the Salvation Army.


Lurtz said the Tools for Schools program is a great way for children to learn to give back to the community and help their peers.


"It's a great family activity," Lurtz said.

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