The United Way of Delaware County is going forward with its Supplies for Scholars event as well as other charitable back-to-school events, and families have until Friday to register for free school supplies.
Kelsey Sommers Fox, Strengthening Families manager at the United Way of Delaware County, said the organization will not be having the traditional large event because of COVID-19, but it will be once again partnering with local school districts to distribute supplies and backpacks to students.
“Supplies will be distributed in coordination with Delaware City Schools, Olentangy Local Schools, Buckeye Valley schools, and Big Walnut schools,” Fox said. “Families will receive follow-up information detailing exactly what supplies will be received and how they will be distributed based on grade level and school district at the end of the month. We have been very fortunate to receive the support of our community and our sponsors to ensure that we are able to continue our annual commitment of a prepared and confident start to the school year for all Delaware County students.”
Fox said the United Way has adapted several programs to increase safety during the novel coronavirus pandemic, including changing delivery methods and offering expanded aid.
“Like many of our partner agencies, we have adapted our programs to meet the needs of the community during COVID-19,” she said. “Over $300,000 in donations was distributed immediately to partner agencies aiding in the crisis. Our programs have adapted in ways ranging from virtual after-school programs, to curbside pantry services, to expanded rent and utility assistance. For Supplies for Scholars, this meant we would no longer be able to host our large event. Everyone who registers will be able to receive necessities to begin the year, and we are so grateful to our partners for allowing this to continue.”
Families can register for the event at www.delawarecountyfamilies.org/sfs. Fox said school districts will reach out to families with all the details concerning distribution of the supplies.
Jennifer Ruhe, director of communications for Delaware City Schools, said the district is glad the event is continuing this year.
“While Supplies for Scholars will look different this year, we appreciate the partnership with United Way to provide needed supplies to our families,” Ruhe said. “The online registration process and no-contact distribution will allow our families to receive needed school supplies while keeping everyone, families and volunteers, safe.”
Fox said Grace Clinic will also be conducting an event for free physicals on July 18, and People In Need will be giving out shoes at an event this summer.
“We hope for an opportunity to add more events in the fall for other back-to-school supports typically offered during the main event,” Fox said.
Individuals wishing to donate to Supplies for Scholars can do so by visiting www.liveuniteddelawarecounty.org/take-action/sfs/virtual-backpack.
Glenn Battishill can be reached at 740-413-0903 or on Twitter @BattishillDG.