Source: Sherman Publications

Wanted: Backpacks, notebooks

by Susan Bromley

July 09, 2014

Ortonville- After 35 years as a teacher, Alice Robb knows the importance of school supplies.

“There is always a need for notebooks, folders, pencils, pens,” said Robb, who retired as a Brandon Middle School math teacher in 2007. “The district can’t supply all of that. And backpacks are a big need.”

With summer in full swing and savored after a bitter winter, children are likely enjoying their time off from the classroom, but the Ortonville Community Emergency Fund is preparing for the eventuality of September with a back to school supply drive.

OCEF is currently accepting donations of school supplies, which will be provided to low-income families in the Brandon School District. Robb is chairperson for the collection effort this year and obtained lists of supplies that teachers are requesting students bring to school this fall. Among the donations that are needed are backpacks; composition notebooks with sewn binding; spiral notebooks; pocket folders (plastic and paper); erasers; notebook paper; pencils; pens; 3-ring binders (1- or 2-inch); crayons (24 or 48 count only); colored pencils; Crayola markers and twistables; skinny dry erase markers; highlighters; Post-It notes (3x3 and 3x5 sizes); glue sticks; pencil boxes; scissors; and rulers.

“It’s hard to think of school supplies when we are in the middle of the summer, but it’s imperative for when the bell rings in September for these kids to have their supplies,” said Karyn Milligan, OCEF pantry director. “Many of our clients cry because there is no way they can afford to buy school supplies, it is an added expense that they absolutely do not have.”

With assistance from the community, OCEF expects to help about 240 children go back to school this year.

“Every child who comes back to school is eager to start the new year,” said Robb. “New supplies helps with their esteem and preparation and the more you can help them to be organized, the better they will be as students. You want to do everything you can to help promote that eagerness...This community is so generous— I have always appreciated that. OCEF appreciates the generosity of the community in the past and we are hoping they will continue with the same spirit of giving for another school year because it helps the kids be successful.”

Donations of school supplies will be accepted at St. Anne Church, 825 S. Ortonville Road; Bueche’s Food World (in the OCEF pantry box), 400 Ortonville Road; The Citizen newspaper office, 12 South St.; and Clarkston Brandon Community Credit Union, 4 South St. Please make donations by Sunday, Aug. 10.

OCEF will also gladly accept donations of gift cards in any denomination to Payless Shoe Source and local barbershops and hair salons.

For more information, call Karyn Milligan at 248-627-3965, ext. 103.