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UCPS students: Your generosity is making a difference

Jessica Fenyves and Mary Owen, both counselors at Wingate Elementary School, load up donated school supplies for students in need at their school. (Below) Jessica Fenyves, a counselor at Wingate Elementary School, gathers uniforms for students at her school who are unable to afford them.

Thanks to the generosity of local citizens and government agencies, hundreds of Union County Public Schools children were able to start the 2015-16 school year with the right tools in hand.

The 2015 School Tools Postal Collection and Union County government agencies collected more than six thousand various school supplies, which will be given to students who cannot afford them.

Donated items include art supplies, backpacks, binders, calculators, colored pencils, compasses, composition books, crayons, erasers, glue sticks, highlighters, journals, lunch bags, markers, pens, protractors, rulers and scissors.

UCPS Director of Student Services Carolyn White said the request for assistance began coming into her office before school started.

“I had parents calling me in need of school supplies for their children; another family had a house fire and needed whatever I could provide,” White said. “With this resource and the generosity of people, we are able to meet the needs immediately. We do not have to wait and ask others to help us obtain the supplies. Students can have what they need the next day and never have to feel unprepared.”

Mary Owen and Jessica Fenyves, counselors at Wingate Elementary School, came to the UCPS student services storage area (where the supplies are housed) Wednesday for uniforms and various school supplies.

“We are taking back things to help the children feel much more prepared for their day. They will be very excited about having new tools for school so they can be prepared,” Owen said.

Fenyves said the looks on the faces of the students who get the supplies is priceless.

“We have a lot of families who are doing their best and working hard, but their children aren’t able to start school with the same level of supplies that some of the others have,” Fenyves said. “It’s rewarding to see the look on their faces when they are able to come to school prepared, and feel good and ready. It helps them be as successful as they can be.”

To participate in the 2015 School Tools Postal Collection, area residents left school supplies at their mailboxes for letter carriers to pick up and deliver to local schools. More then 2,200 items were provided through this event. School officials then picked up the items from the post office and Showmars, which also served as a collection site.

Kiwanis of Monroe also contributed $1,000 toward the effort.

It wasn’t just the postal service, however, that got into the act. Boxes filled to overflowing were also presented to UCPS Central Services staff, after being collected by the Union County Sheriff’s Office, the Monroe Library, the Union County Judicial Center, the Union County Government Center and the Division of Human Services. They donated more than 4,000 items. 

“All the community partnerships are amazing,” Owen said. “It’s unbelievable how many uniforms we’re able to provide. We’ve got school supplies to help out the teachers because they have a lot of expenses to start the year. It really makes it a wonderful start to the new school year when we know that kids can come to school and have what they need to be prepared.”

Owen commended those who donated the supplies. “We so appreciate our community and all that they provide.” 

Written by: Deb Bledsoe - UCPS Communications Coordinator
Posted: Aug 27, 2015 by Deb Bledsoe

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