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ADFAC offers Schools Supplies to kids in need

Some of the ADFAC Board of Directors and Staff working to pack backpacks for a local school.

Most people are familiar with ADFAC or Aid for Distressed Families in Appalachian Counties and that they assist folks with housing, utilities and other social services.  But were you aware of the School Supplies program that ADFAC has?  Brad Jones reports,

The School Supplies program ensures that children from low-income families in the ADFAC service area have the supplies needed to start school.  Becky Hook, School Supplies Program Coordinator explains more…

Some of the ADFAC Board of Directors and staff working to pack backpacks for a local school.

“We supply school supplies, brand new back packs, for every student in Anderson County that has been referred by their school.  And also four schools in Morgan County and this year, three schools in Campbell County.  So we get the numbers from each school and they tell us if they are boys or girls, and then we pack the backpacks accordingly.  We get the supply list from each school as well, so if it’s a Kindergarten student we’re going to put in their backpack exactly what that kindergarten student needs.”

A load of packed backpacks that are ready to be delivered to Oakdale Elementary school.

Last year, almost 3,500 children were given necessary supplies such as backpacks, crayons, pencils, paper, scissors, notebooks, and basic calculators, whatever the schools supply list calls for.  But Hook expects there to be more this year.

“We’re going to pack about 4,020 some this year.”

Monetary donations are accepted year-round, and supplies will be accepted through mid-August.  Hook explains all the ways that you can help ADFAC…

Some of the ADFAC Board of Directors working to pack backpacks for a local school.

“There’s several ways to help.  We have all kinds of volunteers that come and help back the backpacks.  We have some that shop for us that buy supplies.  We always take monetary donations, we are a tax exempt organization so if we have the money we can save a little bit on sales taxes for folks.  There are other ways if they want to help throughout the year we do inventory occasionally, so they can come in and help us count the supplies.  So we’re just happy to have any volunteers we can get.”

ADFAC and the School Supplies Program is grateful for the donations and the volunteers and organizations that help out throughout the year…

“We could never do this ourselves.  Theresa McKenrick is our volunteer coordinator and she spends hours getting people lined up for specific days to pack for specific schools. And we’re just so grateful to have so much support from the community and grateful that kids can start school with the same supplies as all the other kids.  We feel like one of our missions with ADFAC is to help people become stable and self-sufficient and we feel like by having those kids start school with the same supplies as every other child, they are going to become more confident, they’re going to be more ready to learn.  We actually think it may help with attendance because a kid that doesn’t have a backpack might feel embarrassed and might not want to come to school.  So we’re hoping that by doing this we’re setting the ground work for those kids to be more productive later in life.”   

The ADFAC Board of Directors and Staff packed backpacks on Tuesday, July 23rd.

Monetary donations can be mailed to ADFAC School Supplies, P.O. Box 5953, First Presbyterian Church Activities Building, Room 103 in Oak Ridge.  And if you would like to volunteer and pack some backpacks, contact Theresa McKenrick at 865-425-0256, ext. 103.

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