Article from the Emporia Gazette

School Supply Donation Eases
Parent Stress

By Jessie Wagoner jessie@emporia.com
Updated Aug 17, 2016

Parents of Emporia Public School students have less items to check off their back-to-school list this year thanks to a generous donation from the First United Methodist Church in Emporia.

The church donated back-to-school supplies for every student attending Emporia Public Schools.

Hundreds of boxes of crayons, folders, colored pencils and glue sticks are just a few of the items that were delivered to classrooms throughout the district last week. Students in Ashley Mawdsley’s fourth grade class at Logan Avenue Elementary School will walk into class and find their desks covered in supplies.

“This is extremely amazing and generous of the church and members for reaching out to our community,” Mawdsley said. “They have helped so many lives with this donation and made it a lot less stress for parents. Couldn’t be more grateful.”

Back to school expenses can be a financial strain for families, especially those families with multiple children. Many parents expressed they were thankful for the help in easing the financial burden.

“I was ecstatic to hear the news about the donation,” parent Pamela Jordan said. “I wasn’t sure if I would have been able to buy them, but now I don’t have to. Our family and I’m sure many others are grateful of the generous donation.”

“It was an amazing gift,” Nicole Smith, parent of five said. “Having a big family, it was truly a blessing. I could never thank them enough.”

“I am so grateful,” Lydia Cope, parent said. “This is a huge blessing to our children. It is always a stressful time of year financially with three children. This lightened some of that burden! I am so thankful and proud to be from Emporia.”

Parents also acknowledged the donation means they will be able to divert funds to other areas.

“Such a relief,” Jessica Roby, mom of two students, said. “I can spend more money on higher-quality backpacks this year since I don’t have to budget that with school supplies. I’m so grateful to First United Methodist Church.”

“Such a kind gesture that benefits so many,” parent Jan Trelc said. “Especially those that have to avoid supplying their kids with what they need for school because of the expense all at once. I still plan to email my son’s teacher to see if there is anything I can get for his classroom. Many teachers have to buy things they want or need with their own money.”

Teachers throughout the district sang the praises of the church — relieved that many of their students will now have what they need regardless of income.

“As a teacher, we were asked what we thought students would need in our classes,” Emporia High School teacher Frances Wecker said. “We made a list, and literally hundreds of items were delivered and are sitting in our storeroom waiting to be distributed to our students (this) week. Such a blessing. Thank you to all who were involved.”

“I’m just blown away by the thoughtfulness of the First United Methodist Church,” Laura Evins, teacher at Maynard said. “Wednesday, when I walked into my classroom, there was a big box waiting for my students full of crayons, markers and glue sticks sitting on my table. This helps our families who can’t afford to buy supplies. I can’t thank you enough for your kindness.”

The first official day of school in Emporia is Thursday with a jump start day held today for students that are new to the district or in Kindergarten.