Advancing Lives in our Communities

Highlighters, #2 pencils, crayons, glue, and rulers. Backpacks, colored pencils, scissors and index cards. You know the drill. The list goes on and it quickly adds up as you make your way down your child’s Back to School Supply List this time of year. Multiply that by two or three or FOUR kids, couple that with new school clothes, and you have a bill that rivals a monthly rent or mortgage payment.

Which brings us to this point: many parents are struggling to pay their rent and utilities, and working hard to pay other bills and household expenses, often living paycheck to paycheck. For these families, finding the financial resources to buy new school supplies most likely will not make their priority list this time of year.  Reports vary, but in all cases, our research indicated the average cost of back to school supplies is now well over $100 for ages K-12 (and over $600 when clothing and electronic items were added to the mix).

A Helping Hand

Education is important to us here at Advia and we believe our local school children should have the tools they need to learn and succeed in the classroom. In August we organized a Back to School Supply Drive to benefit area schools and students in the roughly 17 different communities where our 26 branches are located. It didn’t take long for our collection tables to start piling up with bright pink backpacks and camouflage patterned pencil cases as our 400 staff and 130,000 members supported the cause.

We all have kids – or are close to someone who has kids and we know how it feels to be excited for school to start. Having a new stock of school supplies packed away in your brand new backpack should be an experience every child should know – and enjoy.

Monica Poucher is a Homeless Liaison Specialist with the Kalamazoo Public School District (MI) and one of our Supply Drive school recipients. She says the supplies are very much needed and will be put to good use. “With nearly 1,000 students within the district who are currently homeless, the supplies will be distributed to our students who need them most,” she states.

Parchment (MI) English Teacher Nancy Looper says that the donated school supplies allow low income students to enter a new school year on an even playing field. “So many of our students can really use the supplies,” she says. It’s important for schools to feel the community support because that tells us that education is important to businesses like Advia.”

“It really does take a community to raise a child,” she says.

Make a Donation Today

The schools we work with told us that they accept donated school supplies to help low income students throughout the year, and with limited state funding, there is always a need. Help a student and make a donation to your local school district today!