Voluntary Action Center Hosts School Supply Drive

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COLUMBIA - The Voluntary Action Center said Monday it still needs more school supply donations in order to serve as many families in need as possible.

The next school year is just right around the corner and the center said it wants to help children make sure they are ready to learn. The organization is looking for all types of supplies including pencils, backpacks, paper, glue, binders and pens. You can drop off supplies at any of the local Walmart locations in Columbia and the Voluntary Action Center at 403A Vandiver Drive. You can also donate money online and the VAC will buy the supplies for the students.

"We want kids to be ready. School supplies are a major part of making sure they are ready to learn at the beginning of the school year," VAC director Nick Foster said.

The group is also encouraging businesses and organizations to host their own school supply drives to help the cause. Businesses are encouraged to contact the center for information to learn more about how to begin a drive.

"Right now we could really use some donations at this point. And we really look for the community to help us out," Foster said.

Several hundred students used the service last year and Foster believes the demand will be greater this year. Foster said high unemployment may be to blame.

Without donations from the community Foster said families, "would have to use resources they would use to put food on the table."

The center is also looking ahead to the winter and wants to make sure kids are ready for the cold weather. Area churches, groups, families and individuals are collecting coats, jackets, blankets, hats, gloves, scarves and socks from now until Oct. 18.

Families can qualify and get supplies by stopping at the center. There will also be a back to school fair at the VAC that will allow kids to get a free haircut and medical screening in August.

For more information, you can Voluntary Action Center's Website or contact Ron Schmidt at 573-874-2273.