Ministry seeks supply donations for students
DENVER – Hundreds of Denver students will go to school with backpacks full of supplies this August thanks to the East Lincoln Christian Ministry.
“I love doing this,” said Judy Gibson, the ministry’s treasurer, who is in charge of collecting and distributing school supplies. “I was a teacher for 30 years, and I just think it’s so important that kids have it.”
Last year, 345 students received backpacks filled with supplies. ELCM has supported the program for 17 years, and organizers plan to do so for many years to come.
Without the drive, “there would be so many children who would be going to school unprepared without their supplies,” said Laura Moore, vice president of ELCM.
The ministry is collecting supplies through July 28. Backpacks full of pencils, papers and folders will be distributed Aug. 15, 16 and 18. Ministry clients must apply to receive a backpack.
“They have to go through the crisis office,” Gibson said. “They have their guidelines.”
When the program first started, 100 children received supplies. Since then, the number of students in need has grown, especially in recent years.
“Part of it is the economy,” Gibson said. “But you always have people who can’t afford (school supplies).”
East Lincoln Christian Ministry is accepting donations of school supplies at its site at 4278 Catawba Burris Road, Denver. Some area churches are also conducting drives. The majority of school supplies given away, however, are paid for through profits from the ministry’s thrift shop and through monetary donations.
“Anything we can’t get donated, we go out and buy.”
Gibson has been involved in the school supplies drive for 17 years, and she almost single-handedly runs it now.
“I know how important it is for children to have their materials,” said the retired teacher. “Just imagine a child going to school without a book bag compared to a student who does have one.”
The following items are included on the ministry’s school supplies list: backpacks, two-inch binders, three-pronged pocket folders, single subject spiral notebooks, wide-ruled notebook paper, index cards, number-two pencils, pens, colored pencils, colored markers, highlighters, large erasers, cap erasers, 12-inch rulers, glue sticks, zippered pencil pouches and pencil cases or boxes.
Gibson said backpacks, three-pronged folders and spiral notebooks are especially needed.
For more information, call the ministry at 704-483-4415. East Lincoln Christian Ministry is open 9 a.m. to noon Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday and Saturday.