Salvation Army helping leave no child behind

Published 12:00 am Saturday, September 4, 2004

Suffolk News-Herald

The Salvation Army in Suffolk is doing its part to make sure no child is left behind.

But the organization needs the community’s help to making sure every student in Suffolk has the essentials to succeed in the classroom this year, said Capt. Mark G. Burns, corps officer in Suffolk.

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On Friday, the army distributed 200 backpacks, loaded with grade-specific supplies based on lists provided by Suffolk Public Schools, Banks said. Although he has another 200 backpack waiting to be filled, he doesn’t have the school supplies or resources available to buy them.

Area churches have traditionally donated school supplies that went into the backpacks distributed to those in need each fall, Banks said. Although some churches came through with contributions this year, the Salvation Army is still lacking the resources it needs to accomplish its goal, he said.

&uot;I have another 300 families I could serve tomorrow if I had the supplies,&uot; said Banks.

Besides the waiting list of people who have contacted the Salvation Army needing school supplies, the organization is hoping to keep local schools stocked with a closet of supplies that teachers can draw upon when they come across students needing assistance.

&uot;We want to make this an on-going project throughout the year,&uot; Banks said. &uot;By supplying teachers at the schools and having them distribute the supplies on an as-needed basis, we believe they will be better able to carry the philosophy of no child left behind.&uot;

The Salvation Army has polled schools to find out what communities have the greatest needs, he said.

Banks is hoping individuals, churches, businesses and organizations will donate supplies to help the army carry outs its mission.

The list of supplies in need range from the usual – pencils, spiral notebook, folders, notebooks paper for the middle and high school levels; crayons, glue sticks, construction paper for the elementary students – to the more unusual. For example, kids, particularly in the upper grades, also need combination locks and paperback dictionaries.

The army is also accepting tax-deductible monetary donations for the project. Checks, made payable to the Salvation Army, can be mailed to P.O. Box 1000, Suffolk, Va. 23439. In the memo field, people should note that the contribution is for back-to-school supplies.

Although Suffolk’s Salvation Army office also serves Isle of Wight County and Franklin, Banks said all back-to-school donations will be used in the localities in which they originate.