Tools 4 School looking for helpPublished 9:59am Thursday, May 26, 2011
As most students in the area are putting backpacks, binders and ink pens far from their minds, St. Paul Lutheran Church in Ironton is asking the community to actually begin thinking about those things.
The church’s Tools 4 School program, in its seventh year, has grown each year and attributes the success to the support from the community. A total of 10,500 filled backpacks have been passed out to students in the area over the past six years, with 2,000 of them distributed just last year.
Hazel Jacob, Tools 4 School committee member, said the program began when the then-pastor discussed with the congregation ways to give back to the community.
“We started small,” Jacob said. She said a church near Columbus has been a big help each year.
“They partnered with us on this project. They match what we do,” Jacob said, adding that the church even sends congregation members to St. Paul’s to help distribute the backpacks.
The distribution date for this year is Saturday, Aug. 6, beginning at 10 a.m., and St. Paul’s has been collecting supplies for months to prepare. The supplies are available to any child that needs them, regardless of where they are from.
The names and income levels of the students aren’t required, but they do ask for school districts and grades, just to help determine how to better prepare in the future. After tallying from last year, it was determined that this year, they need more backpacks and supplies for preschool aged children and early elementary than they previously did.
Jacob said she is extremely grateful for the support from the community. She said individuals, businesses, community groups and other churches have all worked together over the past six years to ensure there are plenty of supplies and help on distribution day.
“We couldn’t do it without the community,” Jacob said.
She said the day the backpacks are given away, people will be lined up the length of three city blocks.
“It’s a reality check to know people are standing in line at 6 or 7 a.m. to get a backpack at 10 a.m.”
Knowing the great need of families in today’s economy, and being able to see the children the project benefits is something that still makes Jacob tear up.
“There’s nothing like seeing the face of one of these kids, especially small kids-seeing a child so excited to have a backpack with Tinkerbell on it.”
Jacob said people interested in helping could donate supplies, money or their time helping to stuff or pass out the backpacks. Items can be dropped off at the church and monetary donations can be mailed to the church. For church office hours, or other questions, people can call (740) 532-4727.
“It’s a good project,” Jacob said. “People don’t understand how we do this. I don’t’ understand how we do this. We have the blessing of a lot of people and volunteers.”
Here is a ist of supplies needed:
• glue sticks or 8 oz. bottles of glue
• big eraser
• pencil-top erasers
• 24-pack of crayons
• 12-pack of colored pencils
• blunt scissors
• pencil box
• notebook paper
• spiral notebooks
• folders with pockets
• 1” three-ring binder