Hundreds of backpacks await their new homes as Ardmore Young Professionals and the Grace Center of Southern Oklahoma gear up for their annual Stuff the Backpack school supply drive.
The drop-off sites have all been locked in and volunteers are ready to get started. The drive will last from Monday, June 25 to August 3. AYP president Lyndsi Cain said the volunteer turnout so far has been steady.
“There’s actually been a really good response this year,” Cain said. “Since we made the (social media) post there’s been people who’ve stepped up and wanted to be part of it this year. We’ve had a good number of volunteers step up.”
AYP will also accept cash donations, which their members will use to buy more supplies in bulk.
American Nation Bank’s three Ardmore locations, Anytime Fitness, BancFirst, The Ardmore Chamber of Commerce, First Bank & Trust, First National Bank, Gauntlet Fitness, KICM, Landmark Bank’s Commerce Street location, Little, Oliver & Gallagher, Main Street Coffee, Mercy Hospital’s valet parking area, MTC Federal Credit Union, Premier Truck Group of Ardmore, Rib Crib and Toyota of Ardmore are all participating drop-off locations.
“We have several that are returning, but we have a couple of new ones this year,” Cain said.
Crayons, highlighters, notebook paper, blue and black pens, safety scissors, #2 pencils, three-ring binders, flash drives and three-ring pencil pouches are all needed. Despite the name of the event, backpacks are not on the list, and will be supplied by AYP and the Grace Center. Cain said AYP is aiming to collect 1,000 backpacks’ worth of supplies this year.
Volunteers will make the rounds and collect supplies as the drive goes on, with the exception of the participating banks, who will square off in a competition to see who can collect the most supplies by weight. BancFirst on Main Street won the contest last year.
The bank locations participating will have their supplies picked up at the tail-end of the process, when AYP will collect them in one sweep and weigh them.
“That way none of the supplies get shuffled or lost in the mix,” Cain said.