By Linda Dillman
Several years ago, Canal Winchester Human Services began an effort to provide basic classroom necessities for children.
Celebrating the 12th year of the Tools for School initiative, the need is still great and felt throughout the Canal Winchester school district, but the community—individuals, families, organizations and businesses alike—continues to rally in helping fill backpacks for kids.
“We know there are families in our community who struggle with being able to provide school supplies for their children,” said Human Services Executive Director Aletha Mullins. “We are thankful that we can help address this burden on parents.”
Donation boxes are located throughout the Canal Winchester area, including the community center inside the municipal complex, Impact Nutrition, David Evangelical Lutheran Church, David’s UCC, Gender Road Christian Church, Hope UMC, and Peace Free Lutheran Church.
In August, Human Services distributes book bags filled with grade appropriate supplies to students in kindergarten through 12th grade in the Canal Winchester and Bloom-Carroll School Districts.
Families must sign up for the Tools for Schools program to receive the backpacks before school starts.
“The last couple of school years, we have provided book bags and supplies to just over 150 students,” said Mullins. “This is quite a bit higher than past school years. Our community is amazing and each year we can collect enough supplies to fulfill the requests. We collect school supplies to accommodate students in kindergarten all the way to 12th grade. Our greatest needs for this initiative are high school appropriate book bags, dry erase markers, pocket folders and white erasers.”
While Human Services conducts their big August distribution day prior to the start of school, the program is available throughout the entire school year. According to Mullins, she often receives emails from teachers needing a new book bag or school supplies for a new student.
“Our school supply drive is during June, July, and August; however, we will accept school supply donations throughout the year,” said Mullins. “We look forward to our distribution day to see the smiling faces of the kids when we hand them their new book bags. We have been able to administer Tools for School for over a decade due to the generosity of our community. We are so blessed to have such a supportive and caring community.”
For information call 614-834-4700 or contact Mullins via email at firstname.lastname@example.org