Back-to-School Program Serves More Kids
FULTON - The charity group SERVE is working to meet the greater needs of children for school supplies for the next school year.
While children are still enjoying their summer activities, Marion Heilman and other volunteers have already started their work to get the school supplies ready for the kids who cannot afford them. In the office of SERVE Inc. in Fulton , Heileman was busy Friday packing different kinds of new school bags.
"I love it. For me, handing a kid a brand new backpack full of school supplies that is even hard to carry is an exciting thing--just see their smile on face," Heileman said.
With donations from the local community, Back-to-School is a program that serves Callaway County children with free school supplies. The goal of the program is to help as many school-aged kids as possible and ease the worry of many parents who are faced with financial hardships.
Like many programs serving the low-income families, Back-to-School is experiencing challenges this year. The financial crises has cut down on donation sources. At the same time, the staff at SERVE anticipates a surge in the number of children who will apply for the aid.
"Working families are struggling now more than ever before. With the rising cost of living, working families are not able to make enough money to meet their basic needs, much less pay for additional expenses like school supplies needed for their children to go back to school." Julie Roark, Callaway Action Network Director of SERVE, Inc., wrote in a letter to the public calling for the community's support for the program.
The Back-to-School Program provided new backpacks filled with school supplies to 344 children in Callaway County last year. Lisa Brown, Executive Director of SERVE, was excited about the program's achievement.
"I don't think we can underestimate the importance of the program to kids. When they go back to school, they are starting off with necessary supplies. It is important to their self esteem, to their ability to focus and learn." Brown said. " We are blessed with the efforts of the volunteers and the support from out generous donors. We will try our best to give the kids what we can get."