Parents share their appreciation for local school supply drives

Published: Jul. 29, 2022 at 6:33 PM EDT
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AUGUSTA, Ga. (WRDW/WAGT) - Columbia County students and Richmond County elementary schoolers are back in the classroom next Thursday.

Many parents are probably still scrambling to get what they need before students return to school.

The National Retail Federation says that’s costing families over $160 more this year than it did just a few years ago.

We were out in the community Friday to show how important these supply drives are right now.

As inflation rages, one local mother says giveaways like the one at the Henry Brigham Center help ease the burden of back-to-school expenses.

“Times are hard and everything. The cost of everything is going up,” said Giovanna Williams, parent.

Williams is a mother of five kids. She says events like this make a difference.

“It’s a lot. Events like this help the community for mothers like me. It helps. It’s just definitely a blessing.,” she said.

The National Retail Foundation says families spend more than $800 on school supplies. The Augusta Partnership for Children says its goal is to ease that burden a little.

Executive Director, Augusta Partnership for Children Inc. Candice Hillman said: “Kids need to have the tools and support so that they can become educated, healthy responsible adults, so it is very important to us, that is our vision that’s what we see.”

Another giveaway hosted by Augusta University’s Healthy Grandparents Program is easing the burden for grandparents who take care of their grandchildren.

Program Coordinator Mike Patton said: “When you’ve got six school-age children that you’re having to raise and you’re having to buy bookbags, school supplies, and school clothes, it can add up quick.”

The Mims adopted their grandson when his mother passed away, so this giveaway and the resources make a big difference.

“It helps to know that it’s not just us. That someone else has our back to help us with raising him,” they said.

The program gives him counseling and helps his grandparents buy gifts, or assist them with their needs.

Patton says he felt the impact of inflation when buying supplies. So, helping grandparents send their kids to school is even more critical.

“We just want to help and try and help get the kids off to a good start at the beginning of the school year but also, maybe take a little bit of the financial burden off the grandparents as well,” he said.

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