Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Back To School 2010 (Update)

Dear Faith Friends,

Pastor Brian has posted Back to School information on our Faith blog, which has me in awe of the multiple methods of communication in our reach. Please forgive me for being relatively “old school”, but I had a little more information that I’d like to pass along and I’m still struggling to be a successful blogger.

As in past years, we are again sponsoring the Mark Twain school children, helping to provide their back to school supplies. I learned this summer that 80% of the Twain children qualify for free or reduced fee lunch. We are trying to organize enough book bags and supplies for 180 children out of the approximate 230 children who attend Twain. I met with the principal Mary Bontrager last night, and she said that 71 of the children who attended Twain last year left the school (moved or otherwise stopped attending) at some point in the school year. So their enrollment is ever changing and challenging, and with that their need for school supplies.

Some of the school supplies are being purchased again this year in bulk from the Consultation of Religious Communities (CoRC), but some are either under supplied or not supplied at all. The missions committee is carefully looking at the supplies needed, and how we can best use our resources to meet the needs of these children.

So we are once again asking for your help! If you like to shop for school supplies, we have a list of suggested items below that we need and would be very grateful to receive in what ever quantity you can supply. But we are also very grateful for monetary donations; we have been scouring local advertisements, swooping up supplies as they become available at seasonal sale prices. Here’s a list of items and local prices this week:

Hand Sanitizer: This week Office Depot has their 8 oz of Purell available for $4.59, but it is free with a mail-in rebate. There is a limit of 5 per household. So if you are willing to purchase 5 containers of the product for $26.70, all your money will be reimbursed in a check to you. It’s a lot of money, and of course it takes a while for your rebate check to come back to you. But the end result is free hand sanitizer. If you mention Mark Twain while at the check out, 5% of your purchase will go to Twain as a gift card from Office Depot. All in all, a pretty good deal. Per Ev and Carl’s suggestions, I’ve also looked for hand sanitizer at Dollar Tree. They have a 12 oz product available for $1 that seems to be of good quality and scent, so that is also an excellent option.

Scotch Tape: CVS has a “buy one get one” special currently. Target has “buy 3 rolls, get one free” for $2.50. Dollar Tree has a three pack of Scotch brand tape for $1; again an excellent option.

Pencils (# 2, no mechanical): K-Mart has a box of 10 for $.25, but there’s a limit of 4 (I asked management, and they allowed me to buy 40 boxes because it was a donation to Twain). Walmart has a box of 2 dozen for $.94.

Scissors (all pointed, no blunt): Target has 1 for $.50, HyVee has 1 for $.50, Walmart has 1 for $.74.

Please bring your items to Faith by this Sunday, July 25th. We know we are rushing you along, but we will need to count the items donated and shop for those still needed, and time keeps ticking away.

Thank you all for wading through this long letter. Mary Bontrager was simply in awe of the work being done here at Faith for the benefit of her school children. I keep thinking, “Only at Faith” is this kind of generosity and compassion possible. I’m sure there are other communities that can rally around a cause, but I’m grateful and blessed to be a member of Faith.



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