Donate back-to-school items to help kids who don't have a lot
Sure, everybody's wallet is tight. I know mine is. And we know that parents aren't doing as much back-to-school shopping this year as they have done in the past. Parents also won't have the sales tax holiday to help this year. But as I am doing my BTS shopping, I have been picking up an extra item here and there so that my family can donate the items to help kids whose parents can't afford new pencils, notebook paper or pens.
Just this past weekend as I was cleaning out a closet, I found a gently used backpack and one that was brand new. I filled them with some of the extra supplies we had bought and we took them to our church which is collecting school supplies for needy kids. My boys felt good about donating the items because they know their back-to-school needs are taken care of.
So if you're looking for places to drop off those extra school supplies, I know of a couple. The family of Paris Whitehead-Hamilton, the 8-year-old girl who was shot and killed in a gang-related shooting, is collecting backpacks for kids in her honor. For information, send an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org.
This Saturday, Metropolitan Ministries is hosting Backpacks of Hope, an event to provide 5,000 bay area children with school supplies. Metropolitan Ministries officials say the agency particularly is short of college and wide ruled notebook paper, new backpacks, composition notebooks, pencil cases, college-ruled spiral notebooks and three-ring binders. But they will take any school supplies you are willing to give. They also are seeking school uniforms (khaki pants and solid color polos) sizes 5 through adult. You can still drop off items for the program at the Metropolitan Ministries Thrift Store, 2101 N Florida Ave., Tampa. Store hours are 8 a.m.- 4:30 p.m. weekdays and 9 a.m.-2 p.m. Saturday. For more information, call (813) 209-1000.
And here's one more: Throughout the month of August, if you donate $10 worth of school supplies to Voices for Children, which supports Guardian ad Litem (GAL) of Tampa Bay, admission is free to the Tampa Bay History Center, 801 Old Water St. Tampa. Donations will be accepted upon admission to the museum galleries. School supplies will be sent to the Hillsborough County GAL office for distribution to volunteer guardians and the children they represent. For more information contact the center at (813) 228-0097.
If you know of others who collecting school supplies for charity, please let us know.
-- Sherry Robinson