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They're Driven to Donate School Supplies

With the start of school nearing, civic, faith and business groups across Kentucky are sponsoring school supply drives. (Greg Stotelmyer)
With the start of school nearing, civic, faith and business groups across Kentucky are sponsoring school supply drives. (Greg Stotelmyer)
July 26, 2016

LOUISVILLE, Ky. - The calendar tells you all you need to know. The start of school is near and store aisles are filled with parents and their children buying school supplies. But, for some parents it's a huge financial burden. That's where civic, faith and business groups are stepping up. In the greater Louisville area, more than a dozen Allstate agents banded together to organize Driven to Donate.

Debbie Williams, who owns one of the offices, said the drive will help the Center for Women and Families supply the parents and kids served at the Center's domestic-violence shelter.

Williams said, "When you've got to get all those supplies that are on that list for back to school, you're wringing your hands, going, 'How do I do this?'"

The National Retail Federation estimates last school year the average family with children in grades K-12 spent nearly $100 on school supplies. Add in electronics and clothes, and the price tag reached $630.

Lisa Lontz is a domestic-abuse survivor; a single mom with five daughters in school. Living on one income, Lontz said of the school supply drive, "It helps considerably. It frees up some money to maybe get them a little bit nicer school uniforms and stuff like that."

Driven to Donate is gathering supplies through July 29th at Allstate offices in Jefferson, Bullitt, Shelby and Oldham counties.

Williams said gift cards are welcome along with, "Glue sticks, washable markers, pencils; the backpacks are the big thing because they're a little bit more expensive. You can get a 24-pack of crayons right now for 50 cents, but a backpack is anywhere from 15 to 30 bucks."

According to the School Ready Supplies Program, more than 16 million kids live in extreme poverty in the U.S. and arrive on the first day of school without the supplies they need to learn, a statistic volunteer efforts such as Driven to Donate are trying to change.

Greg Stotelmyer , Public News Service - KY