From left, Share volunteers Jack Buttarazzi and Lizzie Gidley sort donated school supplies for Share clients Wednesday, Aug. 14, part of Share’s back-to-school drive.
Photo by Alex McVeigh.
McLean Share of McLean helped its clients get into back-to-school mode Wednesday, Aug. 14, with their annual school supply drive. The nonprofit worked with local individuals and organizations to stock their shelves with the items returning students were sure to need.
Food Bank Items Needed
Share’s food pantry has been depleted over the course of the summer. While all nonperishable food items are needed, several items are in especially high demand.
Those items are: white rice (one and two-pound bags), vegetable oil, ground coffee, laundry detergent, baby wipes, canned fruit, 100 percent juice, toothpaste and toothbrushes.
Share’s food and clothing room accepts donations Wednesdays and Saturdays from 9:30 until noon at the McLean Baptist Church, 1367 Chain Bridge Road.
"We surveyed the school supply lists for elementary schools in the area, and started collecting the most needed items that were on all the lists," said Bonnie O’Neill, Share board member and chair of the drive. "We also bought Target gift cards to give out, with the amount depending on the age of the student, to purchase needed things like calculators."
Volunteers helped sort the donated pens, pencils, Post It notes, highlighters, notebooks, paper, crayons, sandwich bags, hand sanitizer or other supplies.
Lewinsville Presbyterian Church, Emmanuel Presbyterian Church and other donors provided funds, backpacks and insulated lunch bags for the drive.
Several children were able to take the next step in getting school ready courtesy of Salon Daniel in McLean. Three staff members from the salon stopped by the McLean Baptist Church to provide free back-to-school haircuts.
"We usually donate school supplies around this time of year, but one of our clients, Jean Kliska, mentioned that they had already collected the supplies," said Ann Trowbridge of Salon Daniel. "So we thought giving haircuts would be a great fit for back to school. Share is such a great organization, they
do so much for this community, we’re happy to support any way we can."
Salon Daniel also sells Joe Grooming ONE, an all-in-one shampoo, face and body wash. Kliska’s husband Dan runs the company, and Jean Kliska heads the "Get One, Give One" program, where for every bottle purchased, one is donated.
Each person that got a haircut Wednesday at Share also got a bottle of Joe ONE, and Share regularly stocks it in their pantry.
Share’s back-to-school drive also featured the Virginia Cooperative Extension’s Master Food Volunteer program. The program trains volunteers in food safety, preparation and nutrition, and volunteers commit to donate at least 40 hours of volunteer work to their communities.
Anne Augusterfer, a certified volunteer, was on hand to speak to parents about the importance of breakfast to children attending school. She handed clients a bag containing instant oatmeal, boxes of raisins and brown sugar.
"There are a lot of studies that show that students who eat breakfast before school have dramatically lower stress rates, and much better grades and test scores," Augusterfer said. "Many of my classmates during training are involved in schools, and they all see too many kids coming in with chips, cookies, crackers, just empty calories to eat. With oatmeal, raisins and some brown sugar, they’ll get a much more complete, nutritious meal that takes only a minute or two to prepare."