Alamance-Burlington school system social workers and families in need can pick up school supplies and hygiene products before school starts next week. All items were donated as part of the sixth annual classroom fundraising campaign organized in conjunction with the ABSS and the Alamance Chamber.
Backpacks, binders, pencils, calculators, deodorant and shampoo are just some of the 25,000 individual items donated when the collection ends on August 8. More than half of students at ABSS schools receive free or reduced-price breakfast and lunch. Last year, the supplies collected during this collection were used by 3,000 families.
ABSS chief social worker Kim Yarborough said when students have the supplies they need, they will be successful.
“So when the child walks through that door, part of the feeling of belonging to that school is being prepared. Arriving with your items ready to go where you don’t have to borrow from a neighbor, that you have your own business,” Yarborough said.
Volunteers have spent the past week sorting donations and arranging them in a supply closet at the Sellars-Gunn Education Center. Yarborough said there were lots of pens, pencils, glue sticks and spiral notebooks. Scissors, composition notebooks and backpacks leave quickly for high school students. Yarborough said the school system still needs headphones and USB drives, especially for high school students who often do school work on their computers.
The next step is for social workers and families to come to the closet and pick up what they need. Yarborough said this process can be emotional for families and it remains confidential.
“We want to make sure we value the dignity and worth of students and families,” Yarborough said. “We ensure that these supplies are distributed in a discreet manner so that no child will feel bad about having to ask a school social worker for school supplies.”
She said the families who use these supplies are grateful. Once, a family wrote her a thank you note after she gave them some of the donated items.
“I mean, it warms my heart. It’s really, really because, again, our goal as school social workers is to make sure that we support and be that liaison and provide families with the resources they need,” Yarborough said. .
The supplies were donated to public drop-off sites at more than 20 county businesses. In addition, employers organized internal campaigns among their employees to collect donations.
Alamance Chamber President and CEO Reagan Gural said the initiative strengthens the relationship between schools and businesses.
“Our schools teach our future workforce. And so for the business community, it is very important that we ensure that our children are prepared for work or prepared for their next step after high school,” Gural said.
Response from the business community to the order has been positive, according to Gural.
Families in need of school supplies can contact their school social worker for more information. The campaign is always accepts monetary donations. This money will be used to buy supplies that were not donated during the trip.