Local Back to School Drive on its 5th year

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JEFFERSON CITY – The Jefferson City YMCA’s Back-to-School Drive is aiming to help more kids in the community's elementary schools.

Shelly Poire, the director of marketing and membership for the YMCA, said they created this event five years ago as a way to give back to the community.

“As an organization, we want to do what we can to help our community. And this is just one of the things that we can do,” Poire said. “And we encourage our employees, our members, to help donate so these kids who might not have a backpack for school will get one.”

The drive focuses on kids in the elementary level. Each year, the drive works with JCPS and finds schools that are in need of school supplies.

The district is home to nearly 9,000 students. According to Amy Berendzen, the director of school and community relations for JCPS, the drive has helped nearly all the elementary schools.

“Not only in the past 5 years have they provided assistance for the back to school supplies,” Berendzen said. “But we know that they’re always there in this community helping us to do what’s best and what’s good for kids.”

This year, the YMCA is partnering with Cole County alternative treatment courts program volunteers. With this partnership, both the volunteers and Jefferson City kids will benefit.

“They have about 50 clients who need to complete community service hours and this is a great way for them to give to the community while they complete their service hours,” Poire said.

Berendzen said drives like this are important for the community.

“I just hope that relationships such as this, with our partnership with the YMCA between JCPS and the YMCA, and other community partnerships continue to grow and flourish because our kids need us, now probably more than ever,” said Berendzen.

All YMCA locations in Jefferson City are accepting donations through August 4.