Gillette school supply drive for children in need begins August 5

Gillette, Wyo. – Last year, members of the Gillette community donated 33,000 school supplies to children in need in the Campbell Community School District.

They exceeded levels seen in any other community in the Salvation Army’s Intermountain Division, which includes Wyoming, Utah, Colorado and about half of Montana.

“So let’s do it again, Gillette,” said Jenny Hartung, Salvation Army director of Gillette, Wyoming.

At the fourth annual drive, representatives from the Gillette Assistance League of the Salvation Army, St. Matthew’s Catholic Community and First United Methodist Church will be outside the entrances to Gillette’s Walmart at 2300 S. Douglas Hwy , from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. 5 and 6.

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Community members can either drop school supplies into the school bus-shaped boxes or make a monetary donation into the red kettles. Cash donations will be used to purchase additional school supplies. Hartung asks donors to avoid giving pencils, which won’t work well in the heat of the day of the collection.

Volunteers are needed to help sort school supplies from 10 a.m. to noon Aug. 12 at First United Methodist Church, 2000 W. Lakeway Rd.

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About 100 volunteers will be needed on Aug. 13 for the community school supply fair, Hartung said. Volunteers will help pack food for the Wyoming Food Bank of the Rockies and help children fill their backpacks with the supplies they need to succeed in school. A morning crew will also help with set-up, while the afternoon crew will help with clean-up.

From 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. that day, children will be able to select backpacks and school supplies categorized by school and age group from the church sanctuary. Rapscallions Barbershop will provide free haircuts, and From Me to You will provide new and gently used late summer and fall clothes. Families can collect vouchers for free sports physical sessions.

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Rapscallions Barbershop is offering free haircuts at last year’s fair. (The Salvation Army)

“It gives all the kids a good start,” Hartung said.

Parents are asked to leave sick children at home and inform the event organizers that they are collecting their child’s backpack. Although schools provide lists of required supplies on site, it is helpful for parents if they can bring their own copy.

About 100 families per hour tend to come to the fair to pick up school supplies. (The Salvation Army)

No phone calls can be taken on event day at event speed, Hartung said. More than 100 people tend to show up every hour for school supply pickup.

Anyone with questions prior to the event can call the Salvation Army office at 307-682-6982. Volunteers should call the office to register for shifts on August 12 and 13. August 13 shifts are 9:00 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. and 12:00 p.m. to 3:30 p.m.

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