JEROME, Idaho — It's hard to believe, but the first day of school is right around the corner!
All that "back to school" shopping can get expensive, and for families struggling to make ends meet, it can be tough to cross off everything on the school supply list.
That's why United Way is holding their second annual backpack drive for the Jerome School District! The drive collects school supplies, clothes, and shoes to help ease the financial strain of back to school shopping.
"We all have needs, and going back to school for a family is a financial strain on some of those families," said Deloris Argyle with United Way. "This is an opportunity for those who have gently used clothing they can give to somebody else, a family that can use it. We can give kids the school supplies they need to be successful in school."
This year, as a precaution against coronavirus, United Way is collecting donations online, but they're also asking folks to drop donations off at the district office, or the United Way offices.
Argyle explains there's a huge need this year.
"We've seen with COVID that when they went home, there were children that didn't have the school supplies they needed. You can't rely on the teacher to supply all the school supplies for the kids that can't afford to bring them to school," Argyle said. "We need to step in and help those families and those teachers because the need is great in Jerome."
United Way says drives like this one are important because they set the student up for success by starting their year off on the right foot.
"If a kid feels confident, has higher self-esteem, has their own supplies, has a new backpack and a good pair of shoes, they're going to feel better about themselves," explained Bill Maikrantz, President and CEO of United Way. "In turn that will help them be more prepared to learn and want to learn."
United Way is collecting donations all through the month of July. Their goal is to put together and hand out 500 backpacks for kids in need.
Distribution is scheduled for August 7.
If you'd like to donate, click here.