United Way: Back to School Supply Drive a success

By WKTV News

Many local children will be able to head back to school with the supplies they need and their families won't be hit with the financial blow they already couldn't afford, thanks to the United Way.

Representatives with the United Way of the Valley and Greater Utica Area say the Second Annual Back-to-School Supply Drive was a success, collecting as many school supplies as it did in 2011.

Ten local programs and agencies have received school supplies, which United Way officials say helps offset the financial burden many families face during the back-to-school season by providing more local children with the opportunity to start school prepared with the tools they need for success.

"Our community partners have expressed an increasing need for school supplies," United Way Executive Director, Brenda Episcopo said. "This drive was created to help fill that need in both Herkimer and Oneida Counties. We are thrilled to have seen such success in the drive's second year with the addition of our Text-to-Give option and new partnership with our sister organization in Rome."

In 2012, the Back-to-School Supply Drive expanded its reach via a partnership with United Way of Rome and Western Oneida County, providing more Drop Off Zones and program recipients for area residents.

Also new this year is a "Text-to-Give program," which was setup for people wishing to donate-on-the-go, by texting the word "United" to 52000. Those participating in the Text-to-Give program will have $10 added to their monthly cell phone bill and donated to the local Back-to-School Supply Drive in their name. This portion of the drive will remain open for anyone wishing to make financial donations throughout the month of September. <i>(Messaging and Data Rates Apply.)</i>

Another new aspect of this year's drive is the addition of two public distribution sites that have been setup to serve families not already tied to local education programs.

Catholic Charities in Herkimer and Oneida Counties have agreed to participate as this year's public distribution sites. Anyone interested in learning more about how they can access the school supplies is encouraged to contact the distribution site nearest them.

You are asked to please call in advance before stopping by either of the sites.

Catholic Charities - Madison/Oneida County
1408 Genesee Street, Utica 13502
(315) 724-2158

Catholic Charities - Herkimer County
61 West Street, Ilion 13357
(315) 894-9917

The full list of program and agency recipients includes:

  • The Salvation Army - Rome
  • The Zone Community Center - Richfield Springs
  • YMCA of the Mohawk Valley - Mohawk
  • Family Place - Utica
  • Thea Bowman House - Utica
  • Resource Center for Independent Living - Utica
  • AIDS Community Resources - Utica
  • The Country Pantry - Clark Mills

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