School supply drive kicks off

Published 10:40 pm Thursday, July 5, 2018

A local charity is collecting school supplies for children with incarcerated parents for its annual “Supply Us Too” drive.

Building Resilience in Communities, a charity based in Portsmouth, will be handing out supplies to kids on Aug. 18, and until that date, the charity will collect items.

“We are starting to collect now. People can email us or give us a number to call, and we will meet them to pick up supplies,” said Quniana Futrell, founder and executive director of BRC.

BRC has been reaching out to businesses to become drop-off locations for the school supply drive.

BRC will be giving school supplies to children with parents in both Hampton Roads Regional Jail and Western Tidewater Regional Jail.

“We have children with parents in both of those jails, and our goal is to serve 100 children,” Futrell said. “Last year we started with 20 kids and we ended with 40 kids by the time it was done, and we decided we wanted to double that.”

BRC has been partnered with The MAN Foundation for the second year in a row to make the drive possible.

The organization is looking for people to volunteer on the day they give out supplies to the kids, and Futrell is hoping that they can get at least 20 people.

This issue is close to Futrell’s heart, and that’s why she has worked so hard to help as much as she can. She came from a family with incarcerated parents, and now she is working hard to be a champion for children and families.

“Growing up having that background, I know how it feels when things like this come up. When it’s time to come to school, sometimes parents don’t know how to be there and be present,” Futrell said. “The work I do allows for me to be able to take care of that.”

Not only does Futrell run BRC but also she helps visits Western Tidewater Regional Jail to hold classes for mothers that are incarcerated.

“I go out every week and hold a class, “Parenting Behind Bars,” for mothers so they can understand their roles and know how vital it is,” Futrell said. “Their involvement determines how good of a parent they are. I help so that they can not allow it to feel so shameful and that they aren’t missing the connection with their children.”

A location hasn’t been determined for the supply giveaway, but those looking to get involved can call 598-4272 or email

Futrell said that those following BRC on social media can also reach out that way to volunteer or make donations.