Aug 21, 2023
SHEPHERDSTOWN AND CHARLES TOWN ROTARY CLUBS
DONATE SCHOOL SUPPLIES FOR NEEDY CHILDREN
As the new school year begins, the Shepherdstown and Charles Town Rotary Clubs have provided 150 needy Jefferson County elementary school children with backpacks filled with school supplies.
The backpacks have gone to children at four elementary schools, T.A. Lowery, North Jefferson, Ranson, Blue Ridge and the Shepherdstown Day Care Center.
The four schools are all Title I schools, which means more than 40% of their students come from low-income families. The Shepherdstown Day Care Center also serves low-income households. The schools require families to purchase the supplies contained in the backpacks but there are always families that are hard-pressed to do so.
The Rotary Clubs worked closely with administrators at the schools and Day Care Center to ensure that the backpacks would go to children from families most in need, and the supplies were ordered from lists supplied by each institution.
Each institution got backpacks with grade-specific supplies for 30 children in grades 1 through 3, and each backpack contained up to 23 supply items.
The total cost of the backpacks and supplies was more than $5,200. The Shepherdstown Rotary Club covered approximately sixty percent of the cost with its own funds. The remaining forty percent was contributed by the Charles Town Club using its own funds and a grant from Rotary District 7360, which comprises the Rotary clubs in this area.
The backpacks and supplies were obtained from Blusource, a Guthrie, OK, firm that specializes in wholesaling school supplies. In this case, Bluesource contributed to the project by giving the Rotary Club a discount of 6 percent.
In all, the shipment of backpacks and supplies from Bluesource weighed three-quarters of a ton. The Shepherdstown Community Club generously allowed its building to be used as the staging area for these materials, and some 37 Rotarians, family members, and members of the Jefferson and Washington High School Interact clubs gathered there on Saturday, August 19, to place the supplies in the backpacks and organize them for delivery. The accompanying photo shows most of this group inside the Community Club.
A team of five Rotarians delivered the finished backpacks to the schools and the Day Care Center on Monday, August 21, and the institutions distributed the backpacks to the students.
The project was spearheaded by the Rotary Club's Youth Service Committee and members Walt Eifert (Shepherdstown) and Julia Yuhasz (Charles Town). Much of the work was done by Kim Eifert, a retired Berkeley County teacher, who handled the contacts with the schools and the Day Care Center, and also organized the staging of supplies.