Nonprofit collects supplies, clothes for needy students |

Nonprofit collects supplies, clothes for needy students

Nicole Inglis

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For more information about Love INC or sponsoring a child, call Pat Jones at 826-0234.

The first day of school is notorious for inspiring jitters: new schools, new teachers, more homework assignments and new social pressures.

Those pressures can be even worse for students in need. Some families may not have the money to purchase a back-to-school wardrobe, a nice trapper-keeper or a new box of crayons.

Love In the Name of Christ, or Love INC, wants every child to start the school year on a level playing field and is having a school supply drive to provide children with new backpacks filled with new supplies.

Love INC is a combined effort of churches, nonprofits and community members.

“We saw people collecting school supplies, but the need was bigger than that,” Director Pat Jones said. “We were able to organize churches to meet the bigger need, and we got the word out.”

Last year, the school supply drive gave out 109 new backpacks stuffed with notebooks, pens and pencils.

Love INC’s clothing drive, also geared toward students going back to school, provided new outfits for more than 50 children in need.

“With the economy, I’m thinking there’s going to be a lot more need this year,” Jones said.

The school supply drive is in its fifth year.

For those interested in donating, collection bins are stationed at Wal-Mart and Walgreens, so those who are shopping there can buy extra items for a family in need and drop them in the bins on their way out.

For those who don’t want to shop, Jones said she will accept monetary donations. Each backpack with supplies costs about $25.

“It’s wonderful to see the school supply drive pull in support from everywhere in the community,” Jones said. “The churches, people in churches and just people on the street that have no religious affiliation but love children : want to help. It’s wonderful to see the community reach out like that.”

The clothing drive is in its third year. Monetary donations can be made to Love INC to buy new outfits for back-to-school, but donators also can choose to sponsor a specific child.

The donor will be given sizes and a first name of the child, though the family receiving the donations will remain anonymous.

“Some people just really like to go shopping for the kids,” Jones said. “It can be really fun.”

She said most children will receive about $35 worth of clothing, and teenagers’ clothes might cost about $50.

This aspect of the back-to-school program is looking at helping out 75 children this fall.

The Human Resource Council of Craig also pledged $1,000 to buy shoes and socks for the students to supplement the clothing drive.

“Anything to help with their self-esteem,” Jones said. “We want them all to feel equal. We don’t want them to think, ‘Oh, I don’t look good,’ or, ‘Oh, I don’t have new crayons and Susie does.’ We want everyone to have new crayons.”

Although Love INC is faith-based, people in the community don’t have to be Christian to get involved, they just have to care about children, Jones said.

“Our kids are the next generation,” she said. “Our kids are going to be the presidents and mayors, our town leaders and run nonprofits and churches in 20 years. We want them to have the best start possible. And we want them to succeed.”

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