With summer halfway over, Canal Winchester, Bloom Carroll and Groveport Madison students will be headed back to school soon, and two local organizations are hoping to once again provide supplies to needy children.
Canal Winchester Human Services and the Groveport Madison Center for Human Needs are collecting donations of school supplies and backpacks, as well as money to purchase items in bulk, to help families who are unable to afford the supplies themselves.
Human Services Administrator Penny Miller said last year's Tools for Schools project distributed more than 125 bookbags with appropriate supplies for each grade.
"If the increase in other social services is an indicator, it's anticipated that this year the need will be even greater," Miller said.
Donations of any and all school supplies, as well as new bookbags, for Canal Winchester and Bloom Carroll students can be dropped off at several locations throughout Canal Winchester:
• Frances Steube Community Center and the Community Food Pantry, both at 22 S. Trine St.
• Faith United Methodist Church, 15 W. Columbus St.
• Hope United Methodist Church, 83 E. Columbus St.
• David's United Church of Christ, 80 W. Columbus St.
• David Evangelical Lutheran Church, 300 Groveport Road.
Families in the Canal Winchester and Bloom Carroll districts in need of school supplies should call 614-834-3888.
Donors and recipients of school supplies for Groveport Madison students should communicate with the Center for Groveport Madison Human Needs through its website at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 614-586-4017.
Director Christine Boucher said students' need for help in the Groveport Madison district exceeded the organization's expectations last year, but those involved in Tools for Schools managed to meet that need and hope to be prepared to do so this year.
"Last year, we distributed directly to over 600 school-age children," Boucher said. "Also last year, we were not nearly prepared enough for each of the children attending to receive bookbags and backpacks. We had plenty of supplies, thanks to the generosity of many area churches."
To help with the bookbag supply, the organization is collecting funds to purchase bags wholesale, for between $1 and $5 apiece.
"Our goal is to raise $1,000 for these purchases," Boucher said.