Supplies 4 Students is a community-wide program that provides a little extra help to those families who need it. The program is designed to give families a hand up, in a dignified and meaningful way as they prepare for the upcoming back-to-school season. The registration process is as easy as calling 211. Once the Oxford County students are registered, they will receive a shopping code that can be used at either the Woodstock or Tillsonburg Staples stores. Thanks to the generosity of local residents, volunteers, workplaces and corporations, last year 689 students from across all areas of Oxford County were given a positive start to their school year through the Oxford Supplies 4 Students program.
A variety of community partners agreed to amalgamate their programs to create Supplies4Students in 2016; since then the number of recipients has continued to grow. “The increase in recipients speaks to both the growing need for many families in our community as well as the commitment of local organizations to share and promote the program,” says Kelly Gilson, Executive Director of United Way Oxford. “By working together, we can better meet the needs of families who have been struggling to meet basic needs as well as families who have suddenly found themselves in difficult situation.” Gilson said. The program ensures families are given the opportunity to shop for supplies; they have the experience of shopping together, of buying what they actually need, and of working within a budget. Best of all, it ensures that the students are ready and well equipped by the first day of school. Students in grades JK-6 received a $35 shopping code and students in grades 7-12 received a $50 shopping code.
“The generosity of our community has helped this program to succeed throughout Oxford. Donations from workplaces, corporations, special events and residents have made it possible. These donations were made directly to United Way Oxford, or given through Staples stores Woodstock and Tillsonburg – both partners in this program. Donations specifically for Supplies4Students can be made any time throughout the year by calling United Way Oxford,” say Gilson.
“Supplies4Students is one example of supporting kids to be all that they can be. Family circumstances can change quickly and if we can help a student start their school year with confidence, dignity and hope, I believe we have done a very good thing,” says Gilson.
For more information, please contact Supplies4Students coordinator, Abby Belleth at firstname.lastname@example.org or 519-539-3851