July 19, 2002
WBAA joins 'Tools for Schools' campaign
WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. With the start of a new school year fast approaching, WBAA Radio is lending its support to a campaign to gather school supplies and clothing for low-income children in Greater Lafayette.
School supplies and new or gently used clothing for the "Tools for Schools" campaign can be donated at the following locations:
Any Purdue Employees Federal Credit Union branch.
Arni's at Market Square, 2200 Elmwood Ave., Lafayette.
Unity Health Care, 30 Professional Court., Lafayette.
Michael's Arts and Crafts, 3500 State Road 38 East, Lafayette.
Osco Drug, 50 Sagamore Parkway South, Lafayette.
Snowbear Frozen Custard, 620 W. Stadium Ave., West Lafayette.
Carpetland USA, 3437 State Road 26 East, Lafayette.
InnerVision Advanced Medical Imaging, 1411 S. Creasy Lane, Lafayette.
Boxes have been distributed to each drop-off site, and additional boxes will be placed at various locations on the Purdue University campus.
Suggested school supplies are posted at the WBAA Web site. Natalie Kubat, emergency services director at the Community and Family Resource Center (CFRC), says donations of Lafayette penmanship tablets and writing tablets for second and third grades are greatly needed. Other items in short supply last year included Prang oval paints, Fiskars 4 1/2-inch safety scissors and Pedigree pink erasers.
Monetary donations also will be accepted and will be used to purchase items such as tissues and protractors, which are not normally donated.
The supplies will be distributed on Saturday, Aug. 10, at the Salvation Army, 1110 Union St., Lafayette, from 9-11:30 a.m. and at the Community and Family Resource Center, 330 Fountain St., Lafayette, from 1-3 p.m.
Families who wish to receive school supplies should bring a photo ID, proof of income and social security cards for their school-age children. Entertainment, including a clown and face painting, will be provided.
"We want to make it fun and let them know that going back to school is a good thing, an exciting thing," Kubat says. "We want to get them off to school on same foot as their peers."
Kubat says she hopes WBAA listeners and the Greater Lafayette community will respond generously, because the need is greater than ever.
"In the past, classrooms had their own budget where they were able to provide some supplies," Kubat says. "But because of budget cuts this year, the classrooms are no longer able to provide what they were in the past. Schools are asking parents to provide double what they had. Parents have to spend twice as much, which means that for us, we have to collect twice as much."
WBAA director Dan Skinner suggests that families purchase a few extra items when they do their own back to school shopping.
"When you buy your kids' school supplies, just buy an extra set to donate," he says.
Dege Coutee, Salvation Army director of social services, says it would be helpful if people dropped off a few new or gently used outfits as well.
"It's a big demand for children to be able to go to school with one or two new outfits," Coutee says. "For many poorer families, children being able to go to school with new outfits is not an option. We want to give children dignity on the first day of school."
Kubat estimates that 500 families will be assisted through "Tools for Schools." She says the need for all CFRC services has been acute.
"We have been having a much greater demand for service in the food pantry, financial assistance and case management programs," Kubat says.
Coutee says her agency also has seen an increase in the number of families requesting assistance.
"We're receiving more calls," Coutee says. "More people are trying to get in for appointments. We saw a 40 percent increase in people in danger of having their utilities disconnected last month."
WBAA is seeking volunteers to deliver items to the CFRC and Salvation Army for the "Tools for Schools" campaign. Volunteers should contact WBAA development director Tracie Hughes at (765) 496-7794.
Skinner says the radio station's listeners have been supportive of WBAA's efforts, and his staff wanted to return the favor.
"We rely on public support," Skinner says. "We want to give back to the community."
Purdue News Service: (765) 494-2096; firstname.lastname@example.org