The Summit Church hosts 20th school supply giveaway

The Summit Church hosts 20th school supply giveaway

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The Summit Church in Dover will host its 20th school supply giveaway on Saturday, Aug. 13 at 9 a.m.

Backpacks stocked with supplies will be available for students in kindergarten through fifth grade, middle school and high school and will be distributed until noon or when supplies run out.

“The students like to choose their own backpack,” Sharon Buccitelli of The Summit said, “and there are many colors and styles to choose from.”

Parents are encouraged to bring their children with them so they can make their own selection. “We also love to see the kids and their smiles that day. It’s a great day for all of us,” Buccitelli said.

In earlier years of the supply giveaway, there were daunting lines as families waited to pick out their backpacks.

“But the day goes quickly and smoothly now,” said Phillis Sweitzer, who has played a key role in putting the event together for many years. “That’s partly because we’ve been doing this for a while and partly because we used to be one of very few organizations distributing supplies. Many do that along with us now, and that’s wonderful. It also means we have fewer students coming out to our giveaway. We used to have more than 400 on hand, but now it’s closer to 300, which is still a lot of backpacks.”

Backpacks for middle and high school students have standard notebooks, pens and pencils while those for elementary students include things like scissors, glue, paints and crayons. The church works with area schools to make sure the supplies meet expectations.

“It’s a great relief for many families,” Buccitelli said. “That’s money they need not spend for supplies, and they can devote that to shoes, clothes and other things needed for the school year. This year seems to be an especially difficult one for many area families.”

Funding for the school supply giveaway comes from donations by local businesses and nonprofit organizations and from Summit Church members themselves.

“It’s not something we budget for, so we raise money through the year to be able to make this happen,” Sweitzer said.

About 15-20 church members help out with stuffing more than 300 backpacks and with distribution that day.

“Our church family has always been very supportive of our school supply giveaway each year. They’re generous with their donations and in giving their time to help,” Sweitzer said. “Parents are very appreciative of our doing this. They are always very thankful and tell us so profusely. The students are so happy to get their backpacks as well. That’s why we really ask parents to come with their children. It’s a lot of fun for them, and we love the feedback and to hear from the families who are here that day.”

Parking near the church is plentiful, Sweitzer said. The Summit is located at 302 E. Slingluff Ave. in Dover. Backpacks will be given out from the church’s Zone building next door.

“We welcome any family who would like to have school supplies this year,” Buccitelli said. “Any student and their family is welcome.”

Find The Summit Church at www.thesummitdover.com and on Facebook with the latest updates.