Ardmore Young Professionals are gearing up for the annual Stuff the Backpack school supply drive.
The drive will last from June 25 to August 3. During that time, donations of school supplies or cash can be made at various drop-off locations throughout Ardmore. Ardmore Young Professionals President Lyndsi Cain said this will mark the 12th annual supply drive.
“We’ve had some new places [get involved] this year for sure,” Cain said. “And then we’ve had some that have been doing it since I’ve been here.”
The drive has turned into an opportunity for some friendly competition between local banks, which compete with each other to see who can collect the most supplies by weight every year. Pencils, pens, crayons, paper, binders, safety scissors, pencil bags and notebooks are all acceptable donations. AYP will use cash donations to buy supplies in bulk as well. Cain said this year, their goal is to collect 1,000 backpacks’ worth of supplies, the same number the organization hit last year.
AYP will order backpacks for the drive. The service crew, the branch of AYP dedicated to projects like Stuff the Backpack, will meet to discuss details and plan ahead next week.
Cain said the group no longer actually stuffs the backpacks with supplies. Instead, backpacks go to the Grace Center for distribution and the supplies are sorted and given to local schools for distribution.
“We noticed it worked better if we give the supplies to the schools,” Cain said.
Regardless, AYP will still need volunteers to help sort and organize the supplies after the drive wraps up during a “stuffing day.” Cain said stuffing day is usually held the weekend after the drive concludes, but the exact date has not been chosen yet.
“We always take volunteers on that day,” Cain said. “We always need help.”
Anyone interested in volunteering or signing up as a drop-off location should email AYP at ardmoreYP@gmail.com.