PROSPERITY — With the new school year quickly approaching, it is time once again to stock up on the paper, pencils, crayons and notebooks that children will need to kick off the new semester on the right foot.
But school supplies cost money and can add up to be pretty expensive. The Prosperity Police Department, along with The Prosperity Business Association and Women on a Mission are collecting basic school supplies for children to help make school shopping a little easier for families.
“The Prosperity Business Association is proud to support the education of the future leaders of our community. We are excited to be a part of this tremendous community wide effort to invest in the students,” said Glenn Hamm, president of The Prosperity Business Association. “The Prosperity Business Association is dedicated to ‘Making Prosperity Prosperous’ and that begins with supporting the educational needs of our future leaders of our great community.”
“We need school supplies for any grade level and maybe have people donate gift cards to distribute to kids so that they can get new shoes or a new haircut,” said McKeva Kinard, with Women on a Mission.
Women on a Mission first started in 2010 with Kinard and friends Sherley Richardson, Anthony Cannon and Leon Kibler and is a non-profit organization.
Kinard, who is a single mom to three kids knows the struggle that parents may face when buying school supplies and hopes that this school supply drive will help take some of the stress off of parents.
“I am a career woman and a single parent and I’m still struggling with certain things and I’m sure other parents struggle with the same things I struggle with. I want to be that voice for people to come out and help donate things that they may be ashamed to ask for or may not be able to afford,” said Kinard. “Anything is welcome and suggestions are welcome, too. This is really just an event to get the community together along with helping distribute school supplies to the kids.”
Rep. Rick Martin, an advocate for children receiving the best education possible, said that by having a school supply drive, the community is allowing their children to continue their education because they have the proper tools to do so.
“We need to give our children every advantage they can at getting a good education, and making sure kids have the proper school supplies will help them out as they continue their education. We have some of the best schools in Newberry County and everyone should decide to get behind this school drive. We’re all like one big family. No matter who the kid is, race or socioeconomic background, we need to help them, and there is a need for all the kids in the county, not just in Prosperity or in Newberry, but as a whole,” said Martin.
Prosperity Police Chief David Beddingfield said that through this conjoined effort, the school supply drive will hopefully give relief to parents when it comes to shopping for the basic school supplies that are required each school year.
An event will be held on August 6 from 12 p.m. – 3 p.m. at the park across from 250 School Drive, where some of the items donated will be distributed to children. There will also be a sign up list so school supplies can be gathered for people who cannot attend the event.
“We’ve already received some school supplies. If someone wants to donate, they can drop supplies off at Prosperity Town Hall, where there will be a collection box placed or they can get with any of the individuals assisting with this project and coordinate an opportunity to drop off that goes with them specifically as well,” said Beddingfield.
“Everyone in the county should get involved in this. Any school supplies they can give or anything they can do is helpful. If they can’t drop off the school supplies, they can give me the supplies and I can take them to Town Hall for them. I will make sure their stuff gets there,” said Martin.
No child or donations will be turned away and Beddingfield said that although all school supplies are welcome, backpacks are especially being accepted. Items that can potentially harm children will not be accepted.
“Any parents that may need assistance for their grade school child, we’re willing to try and gather assistance for them. We’d like to put a focus on backpacks. We’re going to try to gain as many donated backpacks as possible, but the overall goal is to try and relieve some of the burden associated with school supply costs on the parents, because we want the kids to have the best opportunity they can to get a good, quality education and also relieve that burden on parents who might not have a lot of spending money. It’s my goal that with the Prosperity Police Department, along with The Prosperity Business Association and Women on a Mission organization can assist and offer additional help to the community,” said Beddingfield.
“This is a wonderful thing to do. If people would reach down in their hearts and think about the kids, some of these kids literally have nothing. School supplies get expensive and kids grow like weeds and some parents are single parents and have to decide if they are going to pay a power bill or get school supplies for their children. It’s really just all about the kids,” said Martin.
Currently, The Prosperity Business Association has raised over $1,000 in pledged donations from the businesses in the Town of Prosperity.
“It excites us greatly to know that our efforts will have a far reaching effect across Newberry County,” said Hamm.
The deadline for supplies to be donated is August 2 at the 6 p.m. at the Prosperity Police Department.
Reach Kelly Duncan at 803-768-3123 ext. 1868 or on Twitter @TheNBOnews.