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Rounding up supplies for back to school

Outreach will provide school supplies to kids during its back to school event for clients. (photo by Samantha Hurst)

Outreach will provide school supplies to kids during its back to school event for clients. (photo by Samantha Hurst)

Parents’ jaws drop about this time each year as the cash register totals up the expense of outfitting their children’s backpacks for the new school year.
To make sure all kids have the tools they need, Thermal Belt Outreach Ministry, as well as local churches such as Tryon United Methodist Church (TUMC), plan to host events to provide bags filled with the necessary items.
On Aug. 3 Outreach will host its annual event that distributes school supplies to hundreds of students in Polk County whose families might not have the resources.
Anyone interested in helping to shape the life of a child, may make a donation of school supplies by dropping off any of the following at the Polk County High School cafeteria July 29-31.

School supplies needed:
New book bags (all ages)
Wide ruled and college ruled paper
Pencils, pens, pencil boxes and pouches
Colored pencils, markers and highlighters
Rulers, pencil sharpeners and index cards
Crayons and dry erase markers
Composition notebooks and binders
Notebook tab dividers and pocket folders
Glue sticks and safety scissors

To contribute financially, visit Outreach at www.tboutreach.org or mail your check to P.O. Box 834, Columbus, N.C. 28782. If you have questions, contact Michelle Reedy at 828-894-2988.
TUMC will host a Back to School Bash event Aug. 10 offering 300 bags of supplies to students from kindergarten to high school.
Organizer Bob Bailey said TUMC began its back to school event three years ago. He said the church felt it would be a good thing after seeing it done in another area.
“There are a lot of poor people in the area that could benefit,” Bailey said. “We’re always looking for a way to reach out to our community – we felt this would be a different way to help kids. We like to think of this day as a safe haven where everything is free and they would see we care about them.”
The church’s event will also include a hot dog cookout with chips, drinks, snow cones, popcorn and desserts for all who attend. Haircuts and winter coats will be provided for those students in need of them. There will also be inflatable play structures for children.
Bailey said last year about 278 kids came out for the event. He said about 70 kids got haircuts. There are three hairstylists offering haircuts and about 100 coats available.
“People are so appreciative when they come and so that makes it a blessing too for everyone who works it,” Bailey said.
A Free Community Fund Grant through the Polk County Community Foundation covers about half of the Back to School Bash, which Bailey said helps the church assist as many families as possible.
The event will be held from 10 a.m. until 2 p.m., at Tryon United Methodist Church, located at 195 New Market Road, Tryon.