School Supplies Drive underway in Port Hawkesbury

    PORT HAWKESBURY: The school year is right around the corner and the cost of back-to-school supplies add up quick – that means for some students in the Strait area, they may need a little extra help in obtaining everything on their lists.

    As a way to offset some of that need, Ashley Taylor of Cutting Edge Studio, has organized what she believes as the first ever school supplies drive in Port Hawkesbury’s history.

    The drive, which is already underway, will be collecting donations until August 26, at the Cutting Edge Studio in the Port Hawkesbury Shopping Centre, where Taylor indicated anybody can purchase a ballot for $5 of supplies or bring in $5 worth of school supplies.

    Pencils, glue, scissors, backpacks – all the items a kid needs for back-to-school time are needed.

    “We will take anything,” Taylor told The Reporter. “When shopping for their own child, they could grab something extra off their list, like a calculator, a math set, or a backpack. Backpacks are also used in schools to send food home with kids that don’t have food for the weekend, so they do use a lot of backpacks.”

    Taylor said whether a child is disadvantaged, in foster care, have experienced a fire, or whether their parents couldn’t afford to get them everything – they still deserve to have the same opportunities as their peers.

    “There are a lot of kids, that I feel their parents struggle to get the full list of school supplies,” she said. “It may not be everything, but in the sense they decide to skip a little bit of groceries or skip that bill to get their kid outfitted with school supplies and they fall behind.”

    There is a problem out there, but Taylor said if everybody donated just $5, it would make a significant impact.

    “Come February when the kids misplace or lose something, it will be there for them.”

    The donated school supplies will be sent to the school’s principal, who will hand it out to teachers who will know which kids will need what.

    Taylor indicated if someone sends their kids to school knowing the classroom is going to have a set of markers or a set of coloured pencils their child could use, it may mean a world of difference.

    “We’ve had such tremendous feedback that we will definitely be making this an annual event. Hopefully, other businesses will get on board as well, and then we can really help the kids,” Taylor said. “I know for myself, we’re only a small business – we can only do so much, but I would like to challenge other small businesses to do the same thing, if everybody did something to support it, it would be that much better off.”