While the aisles of stores like Walmart and Target are crammed with parents gripping school supply lists and filling carts, some parents aren’t able to join the crowd.
But thanks to the generosity of many in the community, children whose parents are struggling to make ends meet also will be ready when school starts.
Lee’s Summit Social Services and Coldwater are busy distributing clothes and school supplies to their clients.
Matt Sanning, director of Lee’s Summit Social Services, said this year the agency expects to give school supplies to around 650 children. Still needed: backpacks for high-school age teens, ear buds and headphones, new shoes of all sizes, size 8 boys jeans, loose-leaf notebook paper and composition books.
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Last week it got a helping hand from Junkluggers owner Seth Kakuske, who’d asked Lee’s Summit businesses to set out totes for collecting school supplies. They gathered more than 100 items. He plans to double that amount next year.
Executive Director Matt Sanning praised Kakuske for offering to help the agency.
“He just stepped right in and asked ‘What can we do?’” Sanning said.
On Aug. 1, Kakuske, volunteers and staff were stocking shelves with supplies for the “Back to School Store” that lasts until Aug. 16.
Sanning said that supplies not distributed now are saved to be given out during the Christmas season, when teachers or students may need more. He said the agency begins stocking facial tissues at this time, because it knows there will be a need later in the year.
Volunteers with Coldwater, another Lee’s Summit agency, also helped get children the materials they’ll need in class.
Director Monica Humbard said Coldwater partnered with GenesisKC, a Lee’s Summit based singles group, and Summit Park Church to get school supplies for its two Summer Lunches neighborhoods.
They distributed backpacks with school supplies at their last community barbecues for the summer.
At Sage Crossing, 55 kids who registered in advance received backpacks of school supplies through GenesisKC. The group also gave away socks and haircuts and manicures.
At Crossroads of Lee’s Summit, Summit Park Church provided 57 pre-registered kids backpacks of school supplies and shoes. They also had enough for 38 who came that day. The church took the remaining extra school supplies collected by the church to four elementary schools.
Do donate to Lee’s Summit Social Services, deliver the supplies to the agency at 108 S.E. Fourth St.. Lee’s Summit, from 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday, and 9 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. Wednesday.