Community Partners for Children kicked off its annual drive for school supplies during National Night Out August 5. This is the 17th year that CPC has collected school necessities, from composition books and pencil cases to binders and (new) backpacks, for children who might otherwise find obtaining them a hardship.
It has been a smashing success, according to CPC spokesman Pat Miller. We have been able to provide the schools with all kinds of paper, back packs and other supplies. School social workers distribute the supplies as they identify needs.
This years drive will end Aug. 25.
The Old Town Transit Shop will also collect supplies through Aug. 25.
This back-to-school drive allows us to do something for kids who, through no fault of their own, are facing difficult circumstances, said CPC President Mary Karstens. We try to make it possible for any child who qualifies for free or reduced-price meals to have the supplies needed when the school year starts.
Miller added that the number of collection boxes has doubled over the past two years.
One participating company has three floors, Miller said. and they have a war to see which floor brings in the most supplies.
One local company, disappointed at what they considered a poor showing, went out to purchase school supplies to make a larger contribution.
CPC also has benefited from a partnership with Discovery Toys. For every $500 worth of educational toys sold, local representative Diane Hill (www.dianehilltoys.com) donates $100 worth of toys and two half-price toys to CPC.
So far this year, Hill has hosted two CPC parties at her home in Del Ray, resulting in $250 worth of educational toys for the group. Her goal for the year is to donate $1,000 worth of toys.
At Christmas, people often buy the toys to donate to CPC, Hill said. The organization earns 20 percent of the purchase price toward additional toys.
There are several ways you can help:
- Donate with a tax-deductible check that supports Community Partners for Childrens Back-to-School drive, the Christmas Toy Drive, and the baby supply drive held each spring. Send your check to Community Partners for Children, P.O. Box 2738, Alexandria, VA 22301.
- Volunteer to help sort supplies on Monday evening, Aug. 24, at Mount Vernon Recreation Center, 2701 Commonwealth Avenue. To volunteer, call Pat Miller at 703.683.2570.
- Through Aug. 25, donate new backpacks, black and white composition books, spiral notebooks, wide rule notebook paper, pens, pencils, crayons, highlighters, erasers, pocket folders, pencil pouches, scissors, rulers, and other supplies to a drop-off box at one of various locations in Alexandria.