With a little less than a month left before area parents have to send their children back to school, the local Salvation Army is asking for assistance with its annual Back to School Drive.
And while the trek back to school may elicit groans about teachers and books from students, it will leave many parents in a fiscal pinch as they desperately try to pay for their children's back to school supplies, a task the Big Spring Salvation Army is hoping to step in and assist with.
However, before the first pencil or pen can be handed out as part of the annual Back to School program, the Salvation Army needs help from the community.
“It's really amazing how easily the back to school season can creep up on you each year,” Lt. Jeremiah Romack said. “It seems like it comes earlier and earlier each year.
“We're accepting donations for the drive now. Whether people in the community would like to donate school supplies or make a monetary donation, either is fine. We're expecting a pretty heavy demand this year, so everything will help.”
Romack said the annual effort makes a big difference in the lives of children who might not otherwise have school supplies to start the year.
“It's hard enough to get back into the books after a whole summer off,” Romack said. “When you don't have the things you need — notebooks, paper, pencils — it just makes it that much harder. Education can make a huge difference in these kids' lives, and we need to do everything we can to support them.”
Making a donation to the program is simple, according to Romack.
“If they would rather make a monetary donation instead of going out and buying the supplies, it actually saves a little bit of money,” Romack said. “The Salvation Army is tax exempt, so we don’t have to pay the taxes on them. But if they prefer to purchase the supplies and bring them to us, it’s fine as well. If they make a monetary donation, they also need to earmark it for the back-to-school supplies.”