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York Countys school districts, including Clover, are teaching lessons by example that extend beyond the classroom walls into their communities.
To ensure students have the supplies they need, all four York County school districts have launched their annual drives for school supplies. The drives are the product of a partnership between the school districts and The Herald and its sister community newspapers Fort Mill Times, Lake Wylie Pilot and Enquirer-Herald.
Its a tremendous help for me, said Kathy, 43, of Clover. She has two daughters in Clover schools a rising senior and a rising freshman.
I dont have any income, she said. I wouldnt be able to do it if it wasnt for the school drive.
Kathy said that, thanks to the supply drive, her daughters are able to do really well in school.
I wouldnt even be able to send them to school with what they need if it wasnt for the school drive, she said. The program has really been a godsend for the last few years. Every year they need more and more supplies.
Lake Wylie Pilot is not using Kathys last name to protect her childrens privacy.
Marguerite Brown-Canty, Clover School District attendance officer, said the first week of the collection has been slow.
Weve gotten a few things, but usually our front office is just covered, she said Thursday. But were hopeful well get an influx of materials.
If not, the more than 1,000 students who benefit from Clovers program may not have the tools they need for a successful school year.
We would not be able to help as many students as wed like, Brown-Canty said. We have a lot of families who really rely on getting this help to prepare for a good start for the new school year.
She said shes receiving a lot of calls from parents looking for the support.
The community can definitely be rest assured its a big help for these families who need it the most, she said. Families who have several children in the home need supplies and it can become a financial hardship for them.
Kathy, who was a housewife during her four-year marriage until she left due to a domestic situation, understands the struggle to make ends meet.
When I got out of it finally in 2008, I didnt have skills because I hadnt worked in so long, she said, explaining she has a GED and worked in manufacturing until the plants closed and also as a secretary. I had to start from scratch all over again. I had no transportation.
Kathy currently is a caregiver for a woman in Clover. She and her family, including an older daughter and 1-year-old grandson, live on the property. She said Marguerite Brown-Canty, her angel, and Clover School District social worker Courtney Jones have supplied much more than material needs.
They treat you as an individual, as a person. They dont make you feel like you are in a program, Kathy said. That you are somebody.
Kathy believes they, and the community, have taught her daughters valuable lessons.
They see how Ms. Canty and Mr. Jones have gone above and beyond, she said, explaining her rising senior is planning a career in nursing. I am proud they want to give back, and it shows there are people out there who care.
We know no matter how tough things get, you can go forward, she said.
Kathy, too, is leading by example.
I put fliers out to help people who need help like me, so they will see them and go get their kids new shoes, Kathy said of the York Christian Chamber of Commerces Shoes for Hope program running in conjunction with the school supply drive. Its a small community, but people come together and its there for people like me and my children.
Im just thankful, very, very thankful, she said. Im thankful for the program. Im thankful there are loving people in the community. Ive been blessed.
Donations may be dropped off at Clover School District Administrative Office, 604 Bethel St. Supplies will be distributed Aug. 4.
Want to help?
Donations of school supplies are being accepted at Clover School District Administrative Office, 604 Bethel St., Clover, from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday-Friday. For more information, call 803-810-8000.
Suggested items are: book bags, three-ring binders, colored pencils, pencils, pens, markers, highlighters, notebook paper, composition notebooks, colored folders with prongs and pockets, erasers, index cards, sheet protectors, crayons, insertable plastic dividers, USB drives, dry erase markers, tissues and hand sanitizers.
Monetary donations also are accepted, marked for school supplies. Mail checks to Clover School District, 604 Bethel St., Clover, SC 29710.
Volunteers are needed for distribution of school supplies and the Shoes of Hope initiative from 8:30 a.m. to noon Aug. 4 at First Baptist Church,117 S. Main St., Clover.