United Way Begins “Build A Backpack” Campaign

The United Way of Chatham County will hold its annual back-to-school supply drive on Monday, July 17 through Friday, August 4.

Community members are asked to donate school supplies for children in need.  Items may be dropped off at the United Way office at 72 Hillsboro Street in Pittsboro, as well as at several participating businesses throughout the county.

United Way coordinates the drive and distributes materials collected to Chatham County Schools, Chatham County Department of Social Services and Communities in Schools.  These organizations identify students in need of basic school supplies and work with United Way to meet that need.

Fourteen percent of Chatham residents live at or below the federal poverty level, according to the United States Census Bureau.  Poverty level for a family of four is $24,600.  In addition, 52% of Chatham’s school children receive free or reduced-cost lunch.  According to the Kids Count Data Center, 6% are also experiencing homelessness.

“The primary need is for backpacks, especially laptop backpacks for the high school children,” said Rosemarie Rovito, Basic Needs Coordinator for Chatham County Schools, “There is also a great need for composition notebooks, pocket folders, three-ring binders, subject dividers, notebook paper, crayons, colored pencils, pens, pencils, glue sticks, highlighters, hand sanitizer, rulers, scientific calculators, pencil pouches, pencil sharpeners and erasers.”

Drop-off locations in Siler City include: Walmart, the Western Chatham Senior Center and Virginia Cross Elementary School.

Drop-off locations in Pittsboro are:  Chapel in the Pines Presbyterian Church, Chapel Ridge, Chatham County DSS, Eastern Chatham Senior Center, Pittsboro Presbyterian Church, Realty World/Carolina Properties, United Way and Walmart.

Monetary donations can be mailed to the United Way of Chatham County at P.O. Box 1066, Pittsboro, NC, 27344.  Checks should be made out to United Way, with “Build a Backpack” in the memo portion.  One hundred percent of donations will be used to buy school supplies.

“Last year, the back-to-school supply drive provided school supplies for over 300 children in need,” said United Way of Chatham County Director Dina Reynolds.  “Education for our children is the greatest investment a community can make.”

Those in need of school supplies should contact their child’s school guidance counselor.  They will contact the Basic Needs Coordinator for Chatham County Schools to make arrangements for your child to receive the supplies that are required by their teacher.

For more information about donating schools supplies, contact “Build A Backpack” Coordinator Alane Coore at the United Way of Chatham County office by phone at 542-1110 or by e-mail at uwayadmn@emji.net.

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