VANCOUVER, Wash. (KOIN) — More than 11,000 students — about half of the student body — qualify for free or reduced lunch in the Vancouver Public School district. With families taking an extra hit during the pandemic and rising prices, even crayons and a backpack can be out of reach for many parents prepping their kids for school in the fall.

“We don’t want any child to come to school and feel like they don’t have enough,” said Sam Pike, who helps organize the Write From The Start school supply drive with the foundatin for Vancouver Public Schools.

“A big part of what we do is try to eliminate barriers to success for students, whether it’s helping with basic needs like keeping their lights on or they blew out a pair of shoes and the family can’t afford a pair of shoes,” Pike said.

Write From The Start

This year the foundation is asking for online donations that will be used to buy items in bulk so every student has what they need.

“Particularly at our highest needs schools we see it where it’s really hard to make the ends meet sometimes,” he said. “The extras like a school supply list and back-to-school clothes and these kids grow like weeds so they need new pants and new shoes. It can just be too much.”

Make a donation to Write From The Start

Dick Hannah Dealerships will match the donations — making your donation go twice as far.

“Dick Hannah is going to match the first $10,000 that’s donated,” Pike said. “So we’re really hoping we get to that $10,000 mark so we can get $20,000 total.”

Just $10 provides a pencil box filled with writing and coloring tools, scissors and glue. A $25 donation provides all of the supplies an elementary student needs, and a $100 donation gets a complete kit of grade level supplies and a backpack.

But any donation is a worthwhile donation.

“No donation is too small. We can make mountains out of molehills here,” he said. “You really are making a huge impact on the life of a child or many children.”