WARSAW — Summer is winding down and, before long, students will head back to school.
For some, school supply expenses are, at most, a minor inconvenience, but for others, it may be a cost they cannot afford to pay. With this in mind, Combined Community Services is hosting its annual Tools for School distribution, set for 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Wednesday, Aug. 5, at the Kosciusko County fairgrounds, 1400 E. Smith St., Warsaw.
Formerly Christmas in July, Tools for School provides backpacks, pencils, colored pencils, paper, folders, notebooks, scissors and any other school supplies students may need to succeed during the 2015 school year.
According to CCS Director of Client Assistance Peggi Lisenbee-Wright, average turnout is between 1,500 and 1,700 children each year. Though doors to not open until 9 a.m., parents start lining up as early as 5 a.m.
“Poverty hurts everybody, but it especially hurts kids,” Lisenbee-Wright said.
Tools for Schools Organizer Ami Pitt estimates that, on average, a family with three children spends between $90 and $100 annually on school supplies.
Local businesses and organizations have already donated supplies or money to purchase supplies, but because of the large number of families who show up to the event, there is always need for more. Last year, organizers were able to give out flash drives because of a donor.
Pitt noted monetary donations are preferable, as CCS is able to purchase supplies tax-free and can make a dollar stretch farther. She also said there is a need for plain folders and binders that appeal to high school-age students.
Tools for Schools is open to public, private and homeschool students. Parents need to bring identification like a driver’s license, plus proof that they have children, like school registration paperwork.