St. Joseph Ends Annual School Drive With a Bang
"Just as we entered Wal-Mart, two ladies asked us to support Moore County Schools with a donation of School supplies," says Rebecca Listrom, development director for St. Joseph of the Pines Health System. "We explained that was just what we were going to do."
Two trips to the store and four shopping carts later, she and development coordinator Dana Powers joined St. Joseph volunteers and Linda Hubbard, schools volunteer coordinator, to prepare thousands of dollars worth of school supplies for travel.
"Having the tools to succeed in the education process is the first step," Listrom says."I look forward to this tradition lasting for a long time."
The second annual St. Joseph of the Pines school supplies drive for the benefit of Moore County School children, organized by the pastoral care and volunteer services departments, garnered enough support to ensure many needy children started school well prepared with vital classroom necessities. The successful drive addressed a twofold need. Some of the monetary donations collected from independent living residents of Belle Meade and the Villas at Pine Knoll enabled another school to be started on the noted BackPack Pals Program by supplying 22 additional back packs.
Last fall St. Joseph of the Pines provided seed money to Moore County Schools to get the program started in two schools. Fifty backpacks were purchased then. Volunteers stuffed the bags with nourishing nonperishable foods each Friday for children to eat for lunch on the weekends, and the program was up and running.
"We are hoping to get all primary and elementary schools on the BackPack Pals program this fall," says Hubbard. "That means adding an additional nine schools, which means many more backpacks. We really are proud to have the support of St. Joseph of the Pines for the BackPack Pals program."
By the end of the two week-long school supplies drive, $1,400 had been received in addition to hundreds of materials ranging from calculators and glue bottles to notebooks and pens. Listrom and Powers went to Wal-Mart armed with the money to purchase more supplies to bring the total contributions to the following: 53 packs of writing paper (11,650 sheets), 49 composition books, 98 packs of pens (1,020), 146 rulers, 49 packs of glue sticks, 145 packs of No. 2 pencils (1,600) and 74 colored pencils (888), 138 boxes of crayons, 75 scissors, 67 sets of tab dividers, 123 portfolios, 62 three-ring binders, 96 packs of erasers (192), 17 packs of post-it notes, 22 backpacks, 54 booklets of stickers, 69 writing tablets, and chalk, bottles of glue, flash cards and calculators.
"As a parent of two young children I know how important it is for children to not only have what they need to succeed, but for them to be excited and proud to have new supplies each year," says Listrom. "We look forward to continuing to serve the students of Moore County, particularly those in need."
Priscilla Riley, principal of Cameron Elementary School, said in a letter to St. Joseph of the Pines, "You did a great job of picking out things the students will need and like. We have many students who will benefit from having these items and would not have been able to purchase them. Thank you again for supporting our students and taking some of the burden off our teachers for supplying the students' needs."
St. Joseph President and CEO John Capasso says, "I'm humbled by the fact so many people associated with St. Joseph of the Pines in one form or another have taken the time and effort to reach out to Moore County Schools and make the return to the classroom for so many youngsters an easy and pleasant experience."
West Moore Elementary Principal Bruce Williams also expressed his gratitude, saying, "We have many in need. May God richly bless you."
The shopping spree undertaken by Listrom and Powers was a trip to remember, they say. Listrom says she was filled with pride knowing how many in the St. Joseph of the Pines family took time to either shop or write a check for the cause.
"As we shopped for the supplies, people constantly asked if we were teachers," she says. "When we quickly explained that we represented St. Joseph of the Pines and were buying the supplies to donate, smiles stretched across their faces. The Wal-Mart cashiers were so helpful, especially when they had to scan 100 or more of one item. Some of the other patrons in the store were shocked at how many glue sticks, binders and pencils we added to our cart. The shopping excursion actually was done in two trips with two full carts each trip."
Listrom says she looks forward to shopping for the cause this time next year.
Jeralie Andrews is director of volunteer services for St. Joseph of the Pines.
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