For families facing financial challenges, the costs for school supplies can be stressful. The National Retail Federation’s 2012 Back-to-College Survey conducted by BIGinsight shows the average person with children in grades K-12 will spend approximately $95.44 on school supplies, such as notebooks, pencils and backpacks.
“For the CFVC, providing school supplies for the 128 children living in the transitional housing would have been a struggle if it were not these great students,” said Meg Rogers, executive director of the CFVC and active member of the Georgia Commission on Family Violence.
Student project manager Lyndsey Little, under the direction of instructor Diane Petty, helped to raise dozens of school supplies aimed at helping families facing economic hardships.
“In my project management course, students are introduced to project management skills and how they can be put to use in real life”, explained Petty. “I teach the project management class every summer. Every year I encourage my class to choose a local community service project which they will work toward assisting as a class. Last summer we raised over 500 canned food items for the Cherokee Senior Center.”
The effort started with Little who, after working for the CFVC as a child advocate, proposed the idea of collecting school supplies for the children at the center to her project management classmates.
Petty explained that Lyndsey “introduced the idea of raising school supplies in view of the fact that the beginning of school is approaching. The class as a whole decided to do the community service, and chose Lyndsey to be the student project manager.”
The 10 students placed donation boxes in a variety of locations where people would drop off a selection of school supplies. According to Little, the boxes were “placed in the campuses of Marietta, Woodstock, Canton, Paulding and some other places.”
The initial goal of the class was to collect 50 backpacks filled with supplies.
“We were able to collect 62 bags, which was a great result. They really needed these school supplies, especially after the budget cuts on the center,” explained Little.
As with many programs and organizations, the CFVC received major budget cuts this past year from a number of their primary sponsors.
According to Rogers, the CFVC “lost about $17,000 from United Way, about $10,000 from state funding, and a $300,000 grant from the Office of Violence Against Women.”
Little said the center has “no child advocates at the moment.”
She explained the center’s budget was cut last September and they lost the three child advocates they had at the time.
Though the drive came to an end in mid-July, Little was pleased to say “people have continued to donate school supplies. I’m very happy and excited to see people being generous. It’s a great contribution.”
In total, the students were not only able to provide 62 backpacks filled with school supplies, but were able to collect dozens of miscellaneous items.
“I’m very proud of my students,” said Petty. “It’s important for students to learn project management skills, but more importantly they need to be aware of how they can help out and give back to their local community.”
The Cherokee Family Violence Center is actively looking for volunteers and provides quarterly volunteer training opportunities for those wanting to help.
For more information regarding the Cherokee Family Violence Center, please call (770) 479-1703 or visit them online at www.cfvc.org.