Wheels in motion for Love INC Back-to-School Bash

Wheels in motion for Love INC Back-to-School Bash

Image Credit: Submitted

While it may seem like students just got out of school and are celebrating the freedoms of summer vacation time, Love In the Name of Christ has turned its attention to helping students gear up for the 2022-23 school year.

Love INC will host its Back-to-School-Bash on Saturday, Aug. 6 from 10 a.m. to noon at the Love INC/Love Center building at 1291 Massillon Road, just north of Millersburg.

The event is geared toward families and students attending schools in Holmes County and is being hosted in collaboration with Millersburg Christian Church, Pleasant View Mennonite Church and Love INC School Gap Ministries.

The goal is to provide everything a student might need at their respective grade level including pens and pencils, notebooks, backpacks, ear buds, rulers, glue sticks, glue, dry erase markers, binders, highlighters and more.

The price per student at the bash is a suggested $5 donation that will go toward future supplies, but that is a small price considering each student will receive more than $50 in school supplies.

While the bash is two months away, Love INC Executive Director Vicki Conn said the important role people throughout the community can play at this moment is meeting the needs to prepare for the big event.

While the supplies are the reason families come to participate in the bash, Conn said volunteers help the day move along smoothly. She said there are various ways people can volunteer their time to serve families in the community.

In preparing to provide for students, Love INC is currently seeking volunteers to help with several program areas including personal shoppers who help guide families through the shopping experience, traffic directors who will direct traffic, registration helpers to greet families and help them register, roamers who will take the day to help restock and help where needed, and greeters and cleanup crew to help take everything down.

Anyone wishing to become a volunteer for the Back-to-School Bash may do so by calling 330-473-6017.

“The school supply store is supplied by donations from individuals, churches and businesses who help make heading back to school more affordable,” Conn said. “It’s our community that makes this event a success.”

Conn said volunteering for this event is easy work and very gratifying.

“As a volunteer, spending those couple of hours is a lot of fun spending time connecting with other volunteers and with the families who come in,” Conn said. “It’s not difficult, but we do need the hands and feet and joy of serving others to make this event successful.”

She said they currently need supplies, volunteers and even monetary donations to build up the supply list to provide for the expected mass of students participating in the bash.

Donations are gladly accepted, but Conn said they understand people might not want to shop for supplies, so instead they can simply sponsor a student by donating $50 per student, which covers the amount of a backpack and almost all the supplies. To sponsor a student, text B2S to 269-89; mail a check to Love INC at P.O. Box 144, Millersburg, OH 44654; or donate online at www.loveincofghc.org.

Love INC also welcomes back-to-school supply collection drives and donations. Businesses, churches or groups can collect different supplies, like any of the aforementioned items, and help Love INC stock the tables and shelves to help students get back to school as inexpensively as possible.

“Any church, business or group that would like to sponsor a school supply collection drive may do so, and it would be great to have the supplies to our office no later than July 28,” Conn said. “People can feel free to call us at 330-473-6017 to arrange a drop-off time. We truly appreciate the community’s support in helping our area families get back to school.”

Conn did add that should anyone organize a collection drive, it would be great if they contacted Love INC just to let them know what types of supplies might be coming in.

Conn said the event committee met recently and discussed the rising cost of supplies and the difficulty in getting shipments in that the nation currently faces.

She said they fear they may run into problems with shipping demands and the cost of purchasing supplies. Because of that, there is a need to move on getting supplies now rather than later.

For more information visit Love INC’s Facebook page.

Love INC has obtained a list of every classroom from each school in Holmes County, which allows them to meet the needs for each individual student to perfection.

“A student can come in and say they are in a certain teacher’s class in a specific school, and we will have an exact list of items needed for that particular classroom,” Conn said.

While the cost of purchasing school supplies may not make a big dent in some family budgets, other households will feel the crunch of forking out $50 or more to purchase school supplies. Conn said that can get exponentially worse for larger families.

“You take that cost of around $50 to purchase everything a child needs for school and multiply it by three or four children in a home, and all of a sudden you’ve got a much bigger cost these families are facing,” Conn said.

With the suggested cost of $5 so cheap, that same family can purchase everything they need for $15 or $20 rather than $200.

“We liked the idea of having parents pay at least something because that keeps them invested,” Conn said. “But at a savings of about 90%, we think it’s a really sweet bargain, and we love the idea of helping out our families.”