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Show local support amid school supply shortage

Published: Jun. 25, 2021 at 3:22 PM CDT|Updated: Jun. 25, 2021 at 6:46 PM CDT
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GREEN BAY, Wis. (WBAY) - Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, there are fewer quantities of school supplies being produced. It’s a common problem across industries, whether that means furniture, cars, or pens and pencils. Yet, when it comes to donation drives, those shortages can be detrimental.

The Service League of Green Bay has started their annual summer school supply drive and has faced a number of challenges this year because of the coronavirus and factory back ups. What the Service League needs most right now are glue bottles, colored pencils and dry erase markers. They also are looking for backpacks and new clothing items, but those can be more of an investment than a 12-pack of colored pencils that only costs about 99 cents.

“There are some things that are more expensive than others, so we get a lot of donations of file folders because they are five cents a piece,” the vice president of the Service League of Green Bay, Amy Alexander, said.

All of these donations will be used for the “Back to School Store” event hosted by the Service League on August 4 at the Kress Event Center on the University of Wisconsin-Green Bay campus.

If you are interested in donating, there are several different ways you can help. First, the Service League has a customized Amazon Wishlist (click here). There you can buy any of the items listed and have them shipped directly to a Service League member’s home or office to be donated. If you are at major stores like Target or Walmart doing your shopping and pick up a few donations, there are also drop-off sites you can visit with items over the next few weeks:

  • Howard: Core Insurance – 2945 Shawano Avenue; 8am-5pm M-F
  • Allouez: Realty World - 3000 Riverside Drive; 7:30am-5:30pm M-F
  • Ashwaubenon: Ashwaubenon Executive Offices – 2700 Vernon Drive; 8am-5pm M-F
  • August 2 ONLY: If you will be near UW-Green Bay on August 2, you can visit the Kress Event Center, 2358 Leon Bond Dr., and drop off supplies there during the day.

According to the vice president of the Service League, Amy Alexander, the “Back to School Store” typically gives about 3,000 students supplies for the new school year. With each backpack containing about $150 to $175 of classroom necessities. That’s why major donation drives are needed to help stock up for the fall.

It takes about 700 volunteers to pull off the event, according to Alexander. Each child is walked through the store by a sponsor who helps them select their favorite item personalized for their own backpack or wardrobe. This year it will be on August 4 at the Kress Event Center, where students will be able to go around selecting their new school supplies.

“It kind of brought me to tears a little bit the first time I got involved,” Alexander said. “I was like this is amazing. They’re just so happy.”

The Service League of Green Bay is composed of an all female volunteer group with about 30 to 35 members at any given time. Founded in 1932, they will be celebrating their 90th anniversary next year.

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