The annual Great Falls Rescue Mission's Back to School Rally is just a month away and they are busy collecting school supplies. Jim McCormick, Development Director with the rescue mission, says all school supplies are needed.
The need grows every year. McCormick says, "last year we served 800 students. This year we expect around 1,000".
Collection barrels are located at major retailers including KMart, Wal-mart, and Staples with a list of most needed items. McCormick says, "backpacks are the most expensive and the ones we suffer with never having enough of". Dry erase markers also tend to be in short supply because they are on the more expensive side of school supplies. McCormick says it's a cost thing. Crayons, pencils, and other things are reasonably priced, but dry erase markers are a few bucks.
You can register for this pre-registered event through Opportunities Inc. Registration helps volunteers tailor each backpack to a specific student. McCormick explains backpacks and school supplies are age and gender sensitive.
The Back to School Campaign provides an even playing field, so students don't feel behind on the first day of school. McCormick says, "for them to go to school without the proper supplies number one it hampers their learning and number two it is very difficult for the self-esteem".
School supplies can be a huge part of a household budget, especially if there are multiple children in the home, so the rally can make tight budgets stretch a little farther. McCormick says, "if we can provide the backpack and school supplies for the kids and that family gets to stay in their home for another month because they chose to pay the rent instead of buying school supplies then we are winning there too".
You need to register for the event by August 15th and the rally is on the 25th.