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Volunteers at the Upshur Parish House collected and will distribute about 700 backpacks full of school supplies to area youth.

From pencils to hand sanitizer: Parish House passes out school supplies

BUCKHANNON – No matter what shape or form school takes, local students will be ready with supplies, thanks to the Upshur Parish House and generous community donors.

The Parish House on Wednesday started distributing backpacks for their back-to-school drive.

Organizer of the drive Pam Moll said distribution started at around 1 p.m. and by 1:50 p.m., they had given out about 225 backpacks filled with school supplies.

“We filled about 700 backpacks, and we have more backpacks and more supplies if we would run low – we can fill more backpacks, but we are prepared for 700 divided between elementary school and middle and high school,” Moll said.

The high school and middle school backpacks contain a three-ring binder, two spiral notebooks, a pack of filler paper, two folders with the pockets inside, pencils, pens of different colors, erasers, glue sticks, a pencil sharpener, highlighters, markers.

Moll said she decided to add some hygiene items this year, such as hand sanitizer.

“People were so generous, as they always are, and sometimes, we were short certain items and then someone would bring in $500 and say, ‘use this for whatever you need,’ so we’d go and get the items we needed,” Moll said.

She said they had about 100 families come through the distribution in less than an hour.

“Last year we gave away in excess of 600 backpacks, so this year we’re prepared for 700 and you never know what the breakdown is going to be,” she said. “We typically have more elementary school kids than we do the middle school and high school, but today, we’ve had a lot of middle school and high school kids.”

Other distribution days will be Thursday, Aug. 27 and Friday, Aug. 28 from 1 to 4 p.m. at the Parish House.

“Even if school doesn’t open as a traditional school setting, which it doesn’t look like it’s going to, kids are still going to need school supplies, whether they are homeschooling, whether they’re Zooming, whether they’re doing some in classroom and some outdoor classroom, they all need supplies,” Moll said. “Because of COVID, a lot of people lost their jobs, or their unemployment ran out and things like that, so I think there is more of a need this year versus last year because of COVID and all the stuff that that entails.”

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