PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — It’s time to stock up on school supplies and Vancouver Public Schools hopes parents will pick up some extra items for the Write from the Start school supply drive.
The goal of the drive is to help every student start the school year with all of the supplies they need.
Kindergarten teacher Alison Gilliland said kids are always excited to get new school supplies but some students come to class with only half or none of the needed supplies.
“When kids don’t have those it’s usually difficult because it means the parents can’t afford them or they’re not able to get to a store to buy them,” Gilliland said.
The Write from the Start school supply drive aims to fill those gaps.
From now through Aug. 22, Vancouver Public Schools will be collecting crayons, pencils, notebooks, markers, pens, backpacks, socks, underwear and more.
Local businesses like Biggs Insurance Services are gathering supplies.
“One of the things we do at Biggs is try to be a very supportive member of the community,” said Biggs Insurance Services President Greg Seifert.
Collection boxes at the business are already full just a week into the drive.
“I can just picture them with a smile on their face when somebody gives them the supplies that they need that they weren’t able to have,” Seifert said. “It kinda levels the playing field.”
Donations can also be made online. Dick Hannah Dealerships will match up to $10,000.
“This here is just a perfect fit for us as it gives directly to those families with needy kids,” said Kent VanArnam, the director of marketing at Dick Hannah Dealerships.
VanArnam said it’s amazing to see what the community can do when everyone comes together.
“This is our third year of working with Write from the Start and one of the most special days is at the very end when the school supplies are collected,” he said. “It’s amazing to see close to 5 tons of school supplies.”
Equipping kids with the supplies they need means the first days of a new school year are easier for everyone.
“Then they can start the school year ready to go,” said Gilliland. “They don’t have to worry about things like that outside of school. They can just come in ready to learn.”
How to help:
Donations can be dropped off at the PACK-A-PALOOZA event on Thursday, Aug. 22 between 9 a.m. – 3 p.m. at Eisenhower Elementary School in Vancouver.