By Matt Wiley | September 10
Heading back to school after summer vacation can be tough for students. Who wants to start doing homework again after so many days off? For many students, however, homework isn’t among their biggest concerns. For families in need, heading back to school can be much more difficult, as a simple thing like school supplies can be tough to fit into the family budget.
To help ease the transition into a new school year, the New Tampa Family YMCA, located on Compton Dr. in Tampa Palms, decided to hold its second annual school supply drive to benefit the students of families that may have had a hard time purchasing necessary supplies for classes.
Throughout the month of August, members of the New Tampa Y brought in supplies to donate. By the end of the month, the facility had quite a collection, says Monica Mirza, executive director of the New Tampa YMCA.
“We delivered all of the supplies to both Mort (located on E. Bearss Ave.) and Tampa Palms elementary schools,” Mirza explains. “Both schools were very appreciative.”
The supply drive lasted from August 1-16. In just that short span of time, the YMCA was able to collect enough supplies to fill 30 shopping bags for needy students. The drive also found support from radio station WILD 94.1, which donated backpacks that were stuffed with everything from pencils and markers to folders and notebooks.
“We think it was very successful,” says Andrea Johnston, membership director at the New Tampa Y. “We received even more supplies after the cut-off date, which also will be delivered to the schools.”
Tampa Palms Elementary principal Kimberly Keenan says that the supplies went a long way toward helping students in need.
“We distributed the supplies to more than 70 kids,” Keenan explains. “There was a lot of stuff.”
Keenan says that, with 36-percent of students qualified for free and reduced-price lunch at TPE, the supplies did not help just the students.
“The families appreciate the help, too,” she explains. “Many called to say thanks. We’re very thankful for the Y’s donation. For the kids in need, to be able to start off the school year with supplies, it really allows them to start the year off on the right foot.”
For more info about what is going on at the Y, please call 866-9622 or visit TampaYMCA.org.