Have you seen a flyer attached to your mailbox this August? It was probably the Rockford High School Supplies for Students flyer that seems to turn up around this time of year asking for donations of new or gently used school supplies and books. This year the high school club has formed a partnership with Congress Elementary School in the Grand Rapids Public School district to help provide students with much needed basic school supply items.
Their summer drive was their biggest success to date. On the second day of the school year, several members of the club were able to deliver over 180 backpacks full of school supplies for each student at Congress Elementary School. The principal, Ms. Bridgett Cheney, told the children in an assembly, “While most kids are out playing and having fun during their summer vacation, these kids were out going door to door collecting money and school supplies to bring to our school. And then, they went shopping at different stores to get the best deals so they could spend their money wisely to get enough things for everyone.” The club was able to contribute over $16,000 retail value in school supplies. Ms. Cheney also commented on how impressed she was with Ally Lang and Megan Malley, the club co-presidents. “They promised less and delivered more. They did not over commit themselves and were able to surprise all of us with how much they were able to accomplish.”
When asked about how they were able to do it, Megan Malley stated, “We would take several club members to stores to take advantage of the specials of the week. We were able to purchase large quantities of supplies doing it this way.” They reported that they shopped at Office Max, Staples, Office Depot, Walgreens, and Rite Aid to take advantage of their school supply specials. Ally Lang said, “It was so gratifying to be able to give each child a backpack. We love helping Congress Elementary because we are able to work with the children directly and see the excitement in their faces.” Malley and Lang both talked about how much they wanted to find a way to help children in need which is what motivated them to start the club three years ago. Every year they have found a group of children to help in the Grand Rapids Public School District.
Lang and Malley reported that during the year the club members are planning a reading incentives program for the students and plan to come to the school and read with the children. They also will be doing a winter drive, collecting socks, hats, gloves and undergarments, so don’t be surprised if you hear from them again soon. Principal Cheney said, “The children are so excited to see the high school kids. They love being around them.”