To the Editor-
I am writing to encourage citizens to support the United Way “Project Fresh Start Program” that provides school supplies and gently used children’s clothing to students in need.
I have always said there is nothing that we as a community can do that has a greater impact then educating our children. Currently we have numerous schools in our district that have a population near to, or over fifty percent of the children receiving free or reduced lunch. This equates to thousands of Stevens Point area school children living at or near the poverty line.
As a child, I remember being so excited to do back-to-school shopping with my mother. I couldn’t wait for the first day of school. You can help our children be excited and prepared for the upcoming school year in much the same way, by contributing to Project Fresh Start.
When you shop at any of our local discount stores you will find notebooks for as little .17 cents, school scissors for .99 cents and pencil boxes for just .66 cents. Pick up a big bag of supplies and drop them off at the United Way office at 1100 Centerpoint Drive, the Portage County library, the Stevens Point Shopko, or heck, bring them to me at the Courthouse and I will deliver them for you! I picked up my bag of supplies on Sunday evening. I spent $25 at Target and got a $5 store gift card on top of making several children’s back-to-school experiences a bit brighter.
Last year as my Rotary Club was helping to prepare the backpacks for the school children coming the next day, a terrible thing happened – we ran out of supplies to fill the backpacks. The tables were literally emptied. We asked the coordinators what to do, and they reluctantly said “go home”. It was heartbreaking to see hundreds of backpacks but no school supplies to put into them.
Don’t let that happen this year. Go pick up a bag of supplies: pens, pencils, paper, protractors, rulers, crayons, markers, sharpies, pencil boxes and backpacks – especially backpacks. Take them to one of the listed locations, or bring them to me at the courthouse, and make a child’s back-to-school experience a happy and exciting one.
Portage County Clerk of Circuit Court
President Rotary Club of Greater Portage County