By JAMES MITCHELL
and SUE SUCHYTA
Sunday Times Newspapers
Back-to-school will be easier for local children in need thanks to school supply collections spearheaded by local community and religious groups.
The Melvindale Downtown Development Authority will collect school supplies at its Touch-a-Truck event from 1 to 4 p.m. Aug. 13 at Allen Road and Oakwood Boulevard during the city’s annual street fair. The DDA also will offer free child identification kits from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Aug. 13 and 14.
Riverview United Methodist, 13199 Colvin, recently distributed new school shoes to children attending Vacation Bible School at United Methodist Church in southwest Detroit. For future collections, go to the church Facebook page.
The Ladies Guild of St. Cyprian Catholic Church, 13249 Pennsylvania Road, is collecting school supplies for First Step and Interim House, local domestic violence shelters.
Families leaving abusive situations often leave their homes with very few belongings, and children at the shelters face an ongoing and urgent need for school supplies. Items most needed include new backpacks, pencils, pens, notebooks, folders, glue sticks, crayons and markers.
Donations may be dropped off at the church office. For more information, contact Denise Traeder at 734-283-1366, Ext. 113, or at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Throughout August members and friends of the Downriver Family YMCA, 16777 North Line Road, will collect school supplies to support students in the community. Residents who donate school supplies during August are eligible to become members of the Downriver YMCA for $25. For information call 734-282-9622 or go to www.ymcadetroit.org/downriver.
Saint Constance Catholic Church, 21555 Kinyon, is collecting donations through Aug. 15 via Back to School cards on a Giving Tree organized by the Parish Life & Outreach. Backpacks and school items will be provided to Eureka Heights, Holland and Myers elementary schools, in which 78 percent of students are from low-income families. Gift cards will be given separately to school administrators who determine which students will receive which items. For information on making a donation contact the church at 313-291-4050.
Southpoint Community Christian Church, 5699 Fort St., will help less fortunate students during a day of community service. Church students from grades 6 through 12 attending the Patton Park Mission Trip from Aug. 16 to 19 – during which activities include cleanup efforts and neighborhood outreach – will each provide a backpack filled with school supplies to be distributed in the community. For information on donations go to www.southpointccc.com.
Trinity Lutheran Church, 465 Oak St., collects supplies to fulfill elementary school teacher wish lists, ranging from pencils, crayons and glue sticks to bean bag chairs for reading circles, and adaptive scissors for special education classes. They fulfill teacher requests throughout the school year as needed. To donate, contact church administrative secretary Carissa Schafer at 734-282-5877 or at email@example.com.
Families in need of assistance with supplies and other preparations for the academic year are invited to a Back to School Fun Fest sponsored by Wayne County Wellness Services, 33030 Van Born Road, scheduled for 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Aug. 18. The first 300 students to participate will receive a free children’s backpack filled with school supplies. Available services at the fest include sports physicals, dental screenings, Head Start information, hearing and vision screenings and more. Food and refreshments will be available along with entertainment throughout the family day. For information contact Wayne County Wellness Services at 734-727-7000 or go to www.waynecounty.com.
(James Mitchell can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Sue Suchyta can be reached at email@example.com.)