It's a sign of the times; schools can no longer afford to buy school supplies that at one time where part of what we considered their purpose. With those cuts schools have had to place the responsibility on the parents and it's more than just pencils and markers. Many schools require students to bring in copy paper and for children living beneath the poverty line that may be easier said than done.
That's where the "Drive for school supplies" started; members from the Foundation for Yuma Regional Medical Center saw a need. The hospital spends their days healing people's bodies and wanted to heal children's wounds before they appeared. What started with a few dollars and a few dozen students has grown to thousands of dollars in donations, hundreds of volunteers and a county wide effort to help our less fortunate.
For months the foundation works with area businesses to collect school supplies and donations. Hosting events like their annual "Stuff the Bus" campaign which challenges the community to fill an entire bus with school supplies. Those supplies are then organized and placed into backpacks which are then delivered to dozens of schools and non profits. Volunteers assemble and work as an assembly line to make sure the deliveries stay on schedule. Thirteen dollars; to some a trip to the movies, but for a child starting school without a pencil may see that donations as an investment in their future.
For the next few days volunteers will huddle together to make sure they stay on course. Doctor Arnie Hilgert a volunteer with the LDS Church in Yuma sees this as her duty as an educator to help those children in need.