ROCHESTER, Minn. - As we get closer to the school year, many families are getting ready and buying supplies and it's likely that many are struggling financially because of the ongoing pandemic. The United Way of Olmsted County is collecting school supplies for its Running Start for School Program.
They have a goal to donate over 2,000 backpacks this year. This isn't a new program for United Way, but it is a higher amount of bags they're hoping for. Impact program manager, Grace Pesch, said that's because the coronavirus pandemic has put a lot of financial instability on the community and not all parents have had a steady income the last few months. She explained instead of collecting loose supplies in donation boxes throughout the county, everything is done all at once online. "I think it's actually more convenient and more economical for our donors," said Pesch. "For less than $16, you can purchase a brand new backpack filled with all of the brand new supplies that our students would need."
Once you purchase a bag, all of the basic back-to-school supplies will already come in the backpack. "We'll supply the same things that we have in the past because we know those things are needed for students," Pesch explained. "Whether they're in the classroom or not, they're still going to need notebooks, folders, they'll still need pencils and things like that."
If you would like to donate a book bag, you still have time! The drive ends on August 7th and they still need over 300 donations. Click here to donate.