FAIRMONT - One of the things many children look forward to when going back to school is having all-new school supplies: freshly sharpened pencils, a full box of crayons never used, and a brand-new backpack to carry it all. But some households can't afford to buy all-new school supplies, and they don't always have enough used supplies to last another year.
Every year, The Salvation Army of Fairmont runs a back-to-school donation, by collecting school supplies through the month of August to donate to needy children before school starts.
"We are collecting items at Walgreens, Shopko, and at The Salvation Army church and thrift store," said Major JoAnn Hixenbaugh of The Salvation Army. "We've been doing it for about a week so far, and we're accepting all school items that are needed from the first to sixth grades."
Major JoAnn Hixenbaugh puts together a backpack full of school supplies for the school supplies donation drive at The Salvation Army church in Fairmont. Drop sites for donated school supplies are at Walgreens, Shopko, The Salvation Army Thrift Store and The Salvation Army church through the month of August.
The collection is an annual event for The Salvation Army, which arranges the donated items into kits for the children. This year's giveaway will go from Aug. 20-31, but items can still be donated during that time.
"Those who come in will need to bring proof of income and identification," Hixenbaugh said, explaining the criteria for receiving school supplies is the same as receiving other types of help from The Salvation Army.
So far, donations have been slow, but The Salvation Army hopes things will pick up as more people begin back-to-school shopping.
"At the thrift store, we had one worker who took his own money and bought some school supplies to put in there, just so it wouldn't seem so empty," Hixenbaugh said.
Monetary donations are also accepted.
"Donations are donations, and we're thankful for any amount," Hixenbaugh said.
For more information, contact The Salvation Army at (507) 238-9797.