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With only a few weeks of summer vacation left, the thoughts of parents and children alike are turning back toward school and all that entails.
For many, that means new clothes, backpacks and school supplies.
But for those parents who are are out of work or struggling to make ends meet, it just means one more thing to stress out about. If you can barely pay your rent, how will you afford school supplies for your children?
Fortunately, there are several drives under way to help those in need get the supplies their children will need by Aug. 16, the first day of school in Lancaster County.
If you can afford it, pick up some extra supplies for a county student in need and drop it off at one of these drives:
Stuff the Bus
The United Way of Lancaster County’s annual Stuff the Bus kicked off July 26. Stuff the Bus donations may be dropped off through Aug. 13 at the following locations:
u Buford Recreation Center, 4073 Hurley Walters Road, Lancaster
u Indian Land Recreation Center, 8286 Charlotte Highway (U.S. 521), Indian Land
u Andrew Jackson Recreation Center, 6354 N. Matson Road, Kershaw
u Springdale Recreation Center, 260 S. Plantation Road, Lancaster
u Heath Springs Dental Associates, 114 N. Main St., Heath Springs
u United Way of Lancaster County, 109 S. Wylie Street, Lancaster
Stuff the Bus donations will be distributed first to the Lancaster County Outreach Project to benefit abused and neglected children identified by the local Department of Social Services. The rest will be divided evenly among the Lancaster County elementary schools and given to the school principals to distribute to children in need.
Lancaster County Outreach Project also has school supply donation boxes at Walgreens drug stores in Lancaster and Indian Land.
Lancaster County Communities in Schools is partnering with Charlotte TV station WSOC in its 14th annual School Tools campaign. The drive kicks off Sunday, and you can drop off supplies at BB&T locations in Lancaster and Indian Land and at the Communities in Schools office at 1240 Children’s Ave., Lancaster (off S.C. 903) throughout the month.
Bring new school supplies to the Charlotte Knights game at 2:15 p.m. Aug. 8 and you can get in free. School supplies donated at the game will go to kids in Lancaster County.
On Aug. 21, you can leave school supplies by your residential mailbox for your postal carrier to pick up for School Tools. All supplies donated in Lancaster County will stay in the county.
The Sun City Carolina Lakes Volunteers and Helping Hands kicked off their annual school supply drive July 19. Residents can drop off their donations in the lobby of The LakeHouse through Aug. 16. Supplies donated to their drive will go to Indian Land Elementary School.
Community Back 2 School Suppy Drive
There is also a Community Back 2 School Supply Drive in Lancaster, spearheaded by several local churches, that is collecting supplies for children in need. They have donation boxes at the following locations:
u Alpha and Omega Hair Studios
u Community Missionary Baptist Church, 1523 Old Camden Highway
u David’s Barber Shop, 224 North Park Square
u Dazzling Design Hair Salon, 1737 Great Falls Highway (S.C. 200)
u Fred’s Barber Shop, East Gay Street
u Lancaster Pharmacy & Wellness, 1755 Airport Road
u Living Word Church of Lancaster, 117 S. Market St.
u Mully’s restaurant, 695 S.C. 9 Bypass East
u NILE Beauty Supply, 1113 S.C. 9 Bypass West
u Platinum Cuts, Memorial Park Road
u Ray’s Flowers, 318 S. Main St.
u Turn’N Heads salon, 1806 Airport Road
u Walmart in Lancaster
Residents may also drop off school supplies at Lancaster High School at 8 a.m. Aug. 7.
At 10 a.m. Aug. 7, the group will begin distributing supplies to those who need them at Lancaster High School.
You can find lists online at the Lancaster County School District website, www.lancastercsd.com, or at these area stores: CVS, Kmart, Rite-Aid, Walgreen and Walmart in Lancaster; Rite-Aid in Kershaw; and Food Lion in Indian Land.
You might want to head out to local stores to buy supplies Aug. 6-8. That’s South Carolina’s annual tax-free weekend for school supplies, when many state retailers hold back-to-school sales and you won’t pay any sales tax on qualified items.
Be generous – your donation could make the difference between a local child starting off the school year with a backpack full of new supplies or catching the bus empty-handed.
Don’t let that happen.