For those in need, help is near
Charities step in for financially strapped parents, teachers
By Denise Smith Amos
Enquirer staff writer
In a few days, parents throughout the Greater Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky region will get a shopping list from their children's schools.
For some families, that list is an unwelcome burden on their already strapped finances.
But there's help.
Hundreds of needy students in Greater Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky will receive free backpacks, notebooks, pencils and other school supplies from charitable groups over the next few weeks.
Some of the agencies will distribute supplies directly, while others will give through schools and teachers. Parents who need help with school supplies should contact their schools, social workers or churches for assistance.
"There are so many different outlets, companies, organizations and colleges asking how they can help kick off this school year," said Hillary Johnson, a spokeswoman for Cincinnati Public Schools.
The Cincinnati district and Cincinnati Parents for Public Schools plan a major school kick-off event Tuesday, when they will distribute 4,000 bags of school supplies.
The need for school supplies spikes at the start of the school year but continues through the last day of school, said Julie Theodore, program director of Families Forward.
The Families Forward social service agency is gathering backpacks and school supplies donated by Office Depot and from Sigma Gamma Rho, a sorority.
"We're trying to make sure every kid has the supplies they need. We have a lot of students from lower-income families. We want them to come to school prepared and ready to learn and have everything they need. We'd hate for them to not do homework because there's no paper."