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OCEF school supplies drive

July 27, 2011 - Brandon Twp.- Back to school shopping can be exciting for some families, as children choose new outfits for the fall and buy new backpacks, notebooks, pencils and more. But for families struggling to make ends meet, back to school time means financial stress and anxiety.

The Ortonville Community Emergency Fund is hoping to lighten the burden for needy families in the Brandon School District. The non-profit organization that provides support to low-income area residents through a food pantry and utility assistance is currently collecting back-to-school supplies and clothing.

"Parents wonder how they will purchase the necessary supplies for school," said Gwen Koss, OCEF food pantry director. "There is such a need with our clients. They don't have the extra funds to buy backpacks and some of the school supplies that are needed."

Koss is hoping residents in the community will step forward to help. Donation requests include backpacks, bleach wipes, colored pencils, composition notebooks, crayons, erasers, 4G flash drives, glue sticks, highlighters, notebook paper, Kleenex, markers, page dividers, pencils and pens, pencil boxes, pocket folders, rulers, scissors, spiral notebooks, sticky notes and 3-ring binders.

These are some of the common items that teachers request students purchase for school, and Koss notes it can get expensive. OCEF needs items for students of all ages and is also accepting donations of new or clean, gently worn clothing. Clothing donations should be placed in plastic bags, labeled with the gender and clothing size on the exterior of the bag to simplify sorting. Donations of Payless Shoe Source gift cards are also welcome, to be passed on to children in need of a new pair of shoes.

Donations can be dropped off at St. Anne Church, 825 S. Ortonville Road, or at any area church by Aug. 15. Place gift cards in the OCEF collection box located near the entrance to the worship area.

The OCEF food pantry is currently visited by 140 familes per month.

For more information on how to help, call the St. Anne Christian Services office at 248-627-3965, ext. 103.

Susan covers Brandon Township and Ortonville
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