The new school year is fast approaching. Whether you’re ready or not, back to school shopping is right around the corner. For many area families the required school supply list just doesn’t fit in an already tight family budget. As an example, 80% of the students at one of our local schools receive free or reduced lunch. School administrators have asked our parish to provide supplies for over 300 children. When shopping for your own family, please consider picking up some extra items for these children in need. Take your kids! What a great opportunity for kids to see your faith in action.

We will also need volunteers to deliver the school supplies to area schools. There will be a sign up sheet in the gathering space on July 16th and 17th.

With unemployment and other economic factors many parents are struggling and are unable to provide the basic school supplies their children need to be effective. In addition, schools across the country are facing budget cuts and lack the funding to purchase necessary supplies. To combat this problem in our area the St. Boniface Community Outreach Committee hosts an annual School Supply Drive. Here are the important dates for this year’s program:

July 16/17. School supply lists to be distributed. Sign-up sheet in the gather space for volunteers to deliver the school supplies to area schools. Cash donations for needed supplies will be accepted after each Mass this weekend.
July 23/24. Collect supplies after all three Masses.
July 30/31. Collect supplies after all three Masses.
August 1. Sort supplies in the church Hall at 6pm and make ready for delivery. This is a terrific time for families to volunteer.

For more information contact Cindy Zach at isufan1@yahoo.com

Creating another Successful School Supply Drive

Many families are struggling. With unemployment and other social factors many parents are unable to provide the basic school supplies their children need to be effective. In addition, schools across the country are facing severe budget cuts and lack the funding to purchase necessary supplies. To combat that problem in our area Cindy Zach and members of the Community Outreach program at St. Boniface are hosting their annual school supply drive. To learn more about this important program, we visited with Cindy Zach.

Q. It’s hard to believe in our affluent area that children don’t have the necessary supplies to start school. Can you tell us more about this need?
A. This is a fair question with a surprising answer. While many in our area have the means to donate to this drive, others are recipients. As an example, Crestview Elementary in West Des Moines (8 miles from St. Boniface) is the school most in need across the schools we support. 80% of the students that attend this school are on free or reduced lunch. This demonstrates that there is a diverse population in our suburbs, which are generally perceived as affluent. Even in these areas there are still pockets of need. These are the students we target with our drive.

Q. What are some of the schools in our area that we provide supplies to?

A. Believe it or not, the St. Boniface school drive supports seven school districts across 16 different schools. Districts include Waukee, Dallas Center-Grimes, West Des Moines, Earlham, Des Moines, Urbandale, and two Catholic schools. Some of the schools we support include Eason Elementary, South Prairie Elementary, and Holy Family Catholic school.

Q. What can people do to combat this problem?
A. People can help in multiple ways:
• Donate items off the list we will supply in July
• Donate money for targeted items to be purchased
• Sort and “stuff” the items for delivery
• Deliver boxed up items to our point of contact at a school

Q. What are the important dates for this years drive?
A. We will be circulating the official list of needed items at all masses the weekend of July 16th. Signup sheets will also be available at this time. All items need to be dropped off between July 23rd and July 31st. These dates and information will also be available on the church website and Facebook page.

Q. Have you heard back from any of the schools that we have donated supplies to?
A. Yes! All schools are grateful. Those in the most need are quite excited to be included in our generosity and welcome any amount of items that can be donated.