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OCEF back to school supplies

July 24, 2013 - The first day of school is more than a month away, but it's on the minds of many, in good ways and bad.

Karyn Milligan, director of the Ortonville Community Emergency Fund food pantry, has already had inquiries from some OCEF clients about receiving help with school supplies.

"If they are already asking in the middle of July, you know this is weighing heavily on their minds," she noted.

OCEF, the local non-profit organization that provides low-income families with some food and basic necessities, has also, with the help of the community, been providing school supplies for about 10 years to families in need.

The back to school supply drive is now under way and Milligan hopes the community will once again come through to help all children start their school year off right, with the excitement of having new backpacks, shoes, notebooks and more. She has already had one little boy who is excited to start Kindergarten ask her about backpacks.

"Picking up a few things extra when shopping is very helpful to our clients," said Milligan. "If you have three or four children, it can be very expensive to get them ready for school, and that is just for the basics required by teachers."

With assistance from the community, OCEF will help about 360 children go back to school this year with the supplies they need. Donations needed include backpacks, rulers, composition notebooks, colored pencils, paper, tape, glue sticks, scissors, spiral notebooks, Band-Aids, pencil sharpeners, pencil boxes, crayons, Crayola markers, pocket folders, 1-inch 3-ring binders, Kleenex, disinfectant wipes, pencils and pens, dry erase markers, permanent markers, and highlighters.

Gift cards to Payless Shoe Source and local barbers or hair salons are also welcomed. Additionally, OCEF will accept new or gently used coats and boots of all sizes to distribute to children.

"Thank you everyone for your continued support of this mission," said Milligan. "This community is wonderful and the clients are grateful."

Deadline for school supplies donations is Sunday, Aug. 18. Donations can be placed in the OCEF box at Bueche's Food World, 400 N. Ortonville Road, or dropped off at St. Anne Church, 825 S. Ortonville Road. For more information, call Karyn Milligan at 248-627-3965, ext. 103.

Susan covers Brandon Township and Ortonville
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