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Care Help needs donations for school suppy drive

Last Modified: Wednesday, July 24, 2013 6:47 PM

By Natalie Stewart / American Press

As Calcasieu Parish children prepare to file into their classrooms next month and begin another school year, many parents are dealing with the burden of buying school supplies and uniforms.

Last year, Care Help aided nearly 400 students attending Sulphur schools by providing them with school supplies, a backpack, uniforms and a gift card to Payless for new shoes.

“There’s a big need in the Sulphur area,” said Monica Smith, the organization’s social service director. “Our goal is to prepare kids in every way we can for the school year.”

Smith said that Care Help depends on donations from the community to provide children with the necessities for a successful school year.

She said Care Help still needs binders, pink block erasers, and colored pencils. Other schools supplies needed: Fiskar scissors, highlighters, Crayola markers, wide-rule loose-leaf paper, erasable pens, composition notebooks, construction paper and folders with brads.

Smith said Care Help follows income guidelines to determine a student’s eligibility to receive back-to-school materials.

Applications for the program can be picked up at Care Help, 200 N. Huntington St., and dropped off 9 a.m.-7 p.m. July 31 and 9 a.m.-4 p.m. at First Baptist Church of Sulphur, 401 S. Huntington St.

Backpack blessings

Care Help also helps children throughout the school year with its “backpack blessings” program.

Smith said in-need children that would likely go hungry are provided with a backpack of food weekly. The program begins shortly after Labor Day and runs through the school year.

“Schools contact us and tell us how many backpacks they need, and we make the bags for the schools to pick up,” she said. “They then discreetly give them to the students who need them so the other kids don’t know they’re receiving it.”

Smith said donations such as Chef Boyardee pop-top canned goods, Vienna sausages, cereal bars, juices, little boxes of cereal, apple sauce, pudding, crackers, beef jerky and similar items are needed for to provide students with food at home.

Smith said about 150-160 students are provided food through the “backpack blessings” program weekly.

School supplies and food donations can be dropped off at Care Help, 200 N. Huntington St., 8 a.m.-4:45 p.m. Monday through Friday and 8 a.m.-3:45 p.m. on Saturdays.

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