The Campbell River Women’s Centre will be packing up school supplies to give to families who need help this year in the 11th annual Women’s Centre School Supply Drive.
But while the Women’s Centre has more supplies to give this year, project coordinator Marnie McLachlan said she has noticed a greater need in Campbell River over the last three years.
“I think with the mill shutting down and some of the other business set-backs that we’ve had in town the need is really growing, and so we’re seeing a lot more working poor showing up,” said McLachlan.
MacLachlan estimates that about 100 women came to the Women’s Centre per month when she first started there about seven years ago, but said that now the number is up to about 500 women per month, and the majority of the women she sees are struggling with poverty issues.
With about $6,600 in donations from various local service clubs and businesses, including $2,757 from the Campbell River Walmart Supercentre and $1500 from Coastal Community Credit Union, McLachlan expects to have about 400 packages to hand out, which is about eight per cent more than last year. The packages include base school supplies like pens, pencils, binders, loose-leaf paper, pencil cases, and duo tangs.
The supplies will be given out on a first-come first-served basis from 10 a.m.-3 p.m. at the Women’s Centre at 1256 A Ironwood St. on Sept. 2 and 6.
McLachlan said the main aim of the program is to try to have all children start out the school with new supplies.
“When everybody else is opening up the 64 box of crayons and the brand new binder and they have virtually nothing, that’s a terrible experience for them, so at least we’ve leveled the playing field as much as is possible,” said McLachlan.