Local education foundations, businesses and community come together to support studentsAug 31, 2020 12h01 ● By Julie Slama
By Julie Slama | [email protected]
It was a more streamlined event, but still people showed up and donated school supplies, clothing, and other items for students in need.
It was the Tools for Schools, a fundraising drive that supports 11 area school districts as well as charter schools and the Utah Schools for the Deaf and the Blind. Local businesses and individuals could drop off needed items Aug. 11-13 at the Shops at South Town, where Z104 radio personalities, Dave and Deb, and local school officials accepted donations and sorted them to the needs of each district. Items also were collected that were earmarked for a particular district.
Cash donations were also accepted, including with a link to Jordan Credit Union, who disbursed the funds, and allowed those who wanted to participate to do so at a safe distance.
“Even with a pandemic, kids still need things and we still want to do it,” said Denise Haycock, Canyons Education Foundation development officer. “We had four volunteers instead of 20 and plan to just sort donations by district, not stuffing backpacks or anything more.”
In years past, Haycock said they had “boxes and boxes of backpacks and food—probably thousands of backpacks last year” which they filled with the donated school supplies. That allowed Canyons to help “cover the bubble schools, those that aren’t covered by United Way and their business partners, but could still use the help.”
This year’s list not only includes pencils and pencil sharpeners, but also the “accessory of the year”—masks.
“We take any kind—homemade, sewn, store bought. Our risk management will approve them for the health and safety of our kids. Hand sanitizer also is something new on the list,” she said.
Jordan Education Foundation Director Steven Hall said that filling principals’ pantries at the schools was something they requested.
“We have a lot of insecure kids and now, homeless, especially during COVID-19,” he said. “We have one in five children who are needing assistance.”
He said clothing, including underwear, as well as personal hygiene items, school supplies and backpacks rounded out his foundation’s wish list.
“Donations make an impact,” he said. “If it’s one backpack, then that’s one more backpack we have to give a child than we did before. Every contribution makes a difference.”