The Garden City Telegram
7/14/2013
OPINIONS AND COMMENTARY

Smart plan

Effort helps needy students

get a solid start in school.

No child should have to worry about starting school without proper supplies.

Yet too often, local youngsters aren't equipped with even the basics.

Credit a number of local organizations for recognizing as much, and stepping up to help.

They've joined in coordinating "Stuff the Bus," an effort to collect and distribute backpacks and school supplies to Finney County children in need — including a good number from homeless families.

The Garden City Area Chamber of Commerce, Finney County United Way and Finney County Community Health Coalition are working together on efforts to gather school supplies, with Spirit of the Plains, CASA; the Salvation Army; and the Garden City USD 457 Migrant/Homeless Program prepared to distribute the backpacks and supplies.

When so many agencies work together, there clearly is an urgent need.

The hope is others throughout the community acknowledge as much and chip in. Donations of cash and school supplies will be collected July 24 in the parking lot of Dillons East in Garden City.

Backpacks and school supplies will be distributed Aug. 9 at the American Legion in Garden City. Children who qualified for free/reduced meals during the 2012-13 school year will be able to receive a backpack.

It's important to remember that for youngsters in troubled families, it's often a challenge to receive such basic essentials as a good meal to start the day, or such classroom necessities as paper and pencils.

Not having proper supplies can be embarrassing and affect a child's self-esteem. Every youngster should start school on solid footing to have a real chance at success.

Kudos to all in the community who understand the plight of those who are disadvantaged, and want to make sure students in that predicament head off to classes on a solid note.

All who support "Stuff the Bus" should feel a sense of accomplishment in contributing to the mission. After all, spending a few dollars on pencils, paper and the like — and putting the supplies in the right hands — seems a small price to pay for such a smart investment in the leaders of tomorrow.