SERVE, Inc. steps up back-to-school distribution

SERVE, Inc. donated more than $8,000 in school supplies to needy children and families last summer, but this year the group has even more ambitious plans.

SERVE has partnered with Callaway Christian Church to expand their Back to School Program, organizing their first annual Back to School Supply and Services Fair.

The fair will be held 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Aug. 11 at the church, and will feature help from local businesses, organizations and individuals to provide services and information to students and families in addition to school supplies.

Fair co-coordinator Julie Roark said the idea to revamp their back-to-school program came when SERVE and Callaway Christian Church realized the extent of the need for help with back-to-school supplies.

“In this day and age, we are serving over 600 children each month with food,” said Roark. “A lot more work and can’t come in, or are having problems seeking help and don’t want a handout. This is something where we’re providing a resource.”

In this fair-style event, different groups can volunteer to work a booth and provide school supplies and services directly to the community. Organizations providing supplies apply with their total budget for the event, and are matched with a single supply — such as pencils, paper or notebooks — they can supply at their booth under their budget. Co-coordinator Ann Erbschloe said this system was put in place to avoid redundancy in supplies and to prevent burdening vendors. SERVE, Inc. donated more than $8,000 in school supplies to needy children and families last summer, but this year the group has even more ambitious plans.

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