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Staples, Airdrie Lionesses and Community Links offer Supplies 4 Success program

By: Allison Chorney

  |  Posted: Thursday, Jul 24, 2014 10:38 am

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It may seem like students just finished up the school year but Staples, the Airdrie Lioness Club and Community Links are looking ahead and hoping residents will help support children in need in 2014/15 with the Supplies 4 Success program.

“We see a lot of people here that need support with housing, a lot of single mothers and single-income families,” said Meagan Way, community support worker with Community Links. “A lot of people are working but the basic needs and the extras are a cause for concern. It’s difficult to pay for extras like school supplies and school fees.”

The program, which started June 26 and runs until Aug. 30, collects cash donations at the Airdrie Staples location. The donations are then used to purchase a variety of school supplies from students in need from Grade 1 to 12.

Arlene Sieppert, the Airdrie Lioness media contact, said the program asks for cash donations in lieu of donated school supplies because Staples is able to purchase products at a discount, which allows the dollars to go further.

She said the cash-donation-only program also allows the groups to make sure enough supplies are purchased for each age group.

“A high school backpack requires a certain calculator but they are expensive and most people can’t donate them,” Sieppert said. “If everyone donates (paper for example) we may not have enough of the other supplies we need.”

The Lioness Club has been involved in the program since 2002 and last year 245 backpacks were filled. This year, they are anticipating the need for 260 backpacks and hope to raise $20,000 for the program.

“There are families in the community that cannot afford to buy supplies for kids. This is a way to ensure kids have what they need when they start school,” Sieppert said.

Way said the program is for families that are struggling financially and need support.

To apply for the program, parents will need to visit the Community Links office to fill out an application. They will need to bring their own identification and their child(ren)’s Alberta Health Care number.

“They need to see an intake worker when they come into the office and we will assess if they qualify,” Way said.

In the final weeks of the program, on Aug. 22 and 29, from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. there will be a barbecue at Staples in Airdrie and Davis Chevrolet will be on hand with some vehicles that can be taken for a test drive.

“For every test drive, Davis will donate to the program,” Sieppert said.

On Aug. 23, the Lionesses, Community Links and Staples employees will be assembling the backpacks and they will be distributed to kids in need on Aug. 25.

For more information, contact Community Links at 403-945-3900.


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