The Back to School Supply Drive is a new project created by city of Loris employees Tonsheka Neal, Amanda Hawley-Causey, Deborah Cannon, Jenna Winborne and Kenya Wright. Wright said, “We would like to do this annually, however, it depends upon the response we get. We will see what feedback we get and what donations are made and make adjustments to it next year.” She said, “Our goal is to collect 150 book bags this year, and if we are able to provide just one child with a book bag filled with items we have met the need of that one child.” This is a trial basis, they may receive donations of 50 book bags filled with supplies or they may meet their goal of 150.
These ladies have met and discussed the reason for collecting the donations, Wright said, “Seeing a child struggling to get the required supplies or to carry an old dirty book bag on the first day of school, knowing that we can help a child begin the school year with brand new items, can you imagine how that makes them feel?” There are many low-income families in Loris, unfortunately, who need help with these items.
The drive began on Monday, June 24, and ends on Thursday, Aug. 1. The ladies will distribute the book bags filled with supplies to needy girls and boys in the parking lot at the Public Safety Building on Saturday, Aug. 10, from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. The plan is to provide a slide station and a dunking booth along with fun games for the children. They are also asking for donations for hot dogs, buns and water bottles to feed the children who attend the event.
The school supply drive benefits children in the Loris area who will attend K-4 through 5th grade whose parents are unable to afford the items required by the Horry County School District at the beginning of school each year.
Donations consist of #2 pencils, glue sticks, paper, 24 count crayons, scissors, ear buds, marble black and white composition books, spiral notebooks, three-ring binders and backpacks. Fill a backpack with the above listed items or donate individual items that can be placed in a backpack and drop them off at the Loris Public Safety Building where Loris City Hall is located at 3909 Walnut Street. They have decorated a box specifically for these items when people visit the office to pay their water bill to drop off supplies. There is also a jar to collect monetary donations which the ladies will use to purchase the supplies.
Wright said, “Anyone who donates will have their name or business name recognized in the monthly newsletter. It will be published on the city website, the city Facebook page and also will be placed on the banner at the Aug. 10 give away of the book bags.” She stated that a donation of $1,000 is a Platinum Sponsor, $500 is a Gold Sponsor, $300 is a Silver Sponsor and $150 is a Bronze Sponsor. They plan to have a plaque for the top three donations made.
Causey and Neal have visited local businesses to get donations; Wright said, “They have received a few donations from the businesses, but we are at the beginning of this drive. We are hoping by Aug. 1 to meet out goal.” They plan to send out letters and hope people will donate; July’s newsletter was mailed to 1,200 residents who received the flyer for this drive to get the word out. Wright will also join Causey and Neal visiting local businesses to ask for donations. She stated that if each person would sponsor a child for approximately $20 a piece how many happy children there will be to begin their school year with new items. “If this turns out well, our plan is to possibly do a first annual
Shop with a Cop or an Angel Tree for Christmas;” said Wright, “again it depends upon the success of this drive what we will plan for the Christmas season.” She says the Shop with a Cop helps children to trust the police and to recognize them as the good guys who assist them when they need help. Another possible plan would be helping the elderly at Thanksgiving with fruit or gift baskets filled with lotions, nail polish, socks and a few other items. She said, “These events will be strictly donation only, no city funds will be used to provide the baskets to the elderly.” Wright stated that the mayor and the city administrator are on board with this idea giving their approval.
In discussing the cost of the items, the Dollar Stores have these items with pencils that are colorful or have characters on them; they have crayons, erasers, dry erasers and many more items to fill a book bag at a low cost.
Wright is passionate as well as the ladies in the office about this project, they are not only seeking businesses to donate, they would like to see individuals drop off any school supplies at the city office. Any donation, no matter how small is a big win for this project.
For more information call 843-756-4004 or email email@example.com (Amanda Hawley-Causey) or firstname.lastname@example.org (Tonsheka Neal).
Wright wants the citizens of Loris to know that the city of Loris is asking if anyone has any event that they would like to have promoted to send pictures and the document to email@example.com, she said if anyone has pictures of recreational sports to submit them to the city; any information that needs to come to the city to attach it to an email and send to the city for approval. This email is checked daily. Wright states that the documentation such as the city newsletter, documents and minutes from council meetings, budgets, audits and other important public documentation will be on the city website will be published within the next 30 days.
Wright said referring to Damon Kempski’s letter of resignation being accepted by the city council on Monday, July 1, that took effect on Tuesday, July 2, “We have lost a good man as city administrator. He gave recognition where it was due;” she continued, “we wish him the best.” She said, “Damon brought so much good to the city and he cared about Loris, the employees and the people in our city.” Kempski’s resignation is for personal reasons and to refocus on his family.