Project Fresh Start Now Underway
For the City-Times
A United Way of Portage County Volunteer Center effort designed to get school supplies into the hands of children who need them is now in full swing.
This effort, Project Fresh Start, is now accepting registrations from those who may qualify for free school supplies. In addition, collection sites throughout Portage County are now available to donate to the cause. Organizations wishing to help with the collection and volunteers who want to help with the project can sign up online at the Volunteer Center’s website, www.volunteersrock.org.
Kayla Rombalski, Volunteer Center Director, said more than 30 percent of all children enrolled in Portage County schools are eligible to receive free and reduced priced meals through their school. “For these families, going back to school can sometimes mean having to go without,” said Rombalski. “Project Fresh Start helps families in need by providing children who qualify with free school supplies; alleviating anxiety about the cost of a new school year and positively impacting the child’s academic success.”
She said people can help with Project Fresh Start in a number of ways. People who may qualify for free school supplies for their children should register by Friday, Aug. 2. Registration forms and informational materials are available online at www.volunteersrock.org, at school offices, and at the United Way of Portage County office. School supplies may not be available to those who register after the deadline.
People who want to donate school supplies can do so throughout July and August at area businesses, organizations and churches that have agreed to host collection sites. A list of these organizations, along with sign-up to host a collection site, is available at www.volunteersrock.org.
People who want to volunteer to help collect and distribute supplies can sign up online at www.volunteersrock.org. Rombalski said more than 250 volunteers are needed. “Whether you contribute your time, dollars or supplies, Project Fresh Start is an opportunity to make an immediate impact while helping a child prepare for a brighter future,” she said.
School supplies will be pre-packed this year, reducing the amount of time people will need to wait in line when supplies are distributed at Ben Franklin Junior High School in Stevens Point Saturday, Aug. 17, and at Almond-Bancroft School in Almond Tuesday, Aug. 27.
More information is available by calling United Way of Portage County at 715-341-6740 or emailing [email protected].