Local agency providing school supplies to families in need

By John Underwood / john@gulfcoastmedia.com
Posted 7/14/17

ROBERTSDALE, Alabama — Summer has barely started, but it’s already time for students across Baldwin County to start thinking about back-to-school supplies.

Teachers have already submitted …

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Local agency providing school supplies to families in need

Posted

ROBERTSDALE, Alabama — Summer has barely started, but it’s already time for students across Baldwin County to start thinking about back-to-school supplies.

Teachers have already submitted their lists to local retailers and a tax-free holiday for school supplies is set for next weekend throughout Baldwin County.

For families struggling to fill those requests, Catholic Social Services, a countywide non-profit organization based in Robertsdale, has a solution.

For well over a decade, a program called Reaching Educational Achievement for Children (R.E.A.CH), has been providing children in need with school supplies, including pens, paper, notebooks, binders, even glue, erasers, crayons and scissors, all in a backpack that students can use to carry the supplies.

“Think back to the joy you had receiving brand new supplies for back to school,” said CSS Baldwin County Director Phyllis Beam. “Just seeing the looks on the children’s faces when they receive their supplies fills my heart.”

Catholic Social Services is currently accepting applications and will be handing out supplies beginning Monday, July 24 at the Baldwin County headquarters in Robertsdale.

CSS also partners with two local churches, Robertsdale United Methodist Church and Peace Lutheran Church in Gulf Shores to provide uniforms for students in need.

“They can go there to pick up the uniforms, but they must have a voucher from us in order to receive them,” Beam said.

It costs about $25 to fill each backpack. About 350 backpacks were handed out last year and Beam expects to fill about 350 to 400 this year. While Catholic Social Services receives donations from local organizations to help pay for the cost, sponsorships for the program are always welcome.

Catholic Social Services will continue to schedule school supply distribution applications until the beginning of school, but Beam said they will work with families year-round to help them get the supplies they need.

Catholic Social Services in Baldwin County is located at 23010 Highway 59 just south of St. Patrick’s Catholic Church and School in Robertsdale.

Anyone wishing to donate or volunteer for this or any other CSS program can contact the main office at 251-947-2293.