Valley school supply drive changes and how you can help this year

Posted at 7:01 AM, Jun 22, 2020
and last updated 2020-06-22 11:03:45-04

PHOENIX — What school will look like in just a few months is still uncertain for many districts across the Valley, but one thing is clear: kids will need the right tools to succeed.

Because of COVID-19, Valley organizations are having to change the way they do school supply drives.

One of those organizations is Back to School Clothing Drive, which has distributed items to students for the past 25 years.

Executive Director Karl Gentles says the event, that's normally held at Grand Canyon University, helps over 5,000 students every year. Within the past few months, he says the demand for their program increased while the funding significantly decreased.

"We'll still serve almost 4,000 if not a few more," Gentles said. "A little bit less than we normally would on a given year but that's purely because of the individual and corporate dollars that have decreased as a result of the economic downturn."

The event will not be held in person this year. Instead, he says they're working with schools to deliver the items to students registered for the event.

Southwest Human Development also collects donations for school supplies every year.

Chief Development Officer Jake Adams says they anticipate needing to shift what kind of supplies they focus on.

"As we were focused on backpacks, pencils, erasers and things of that nature, now we're thinking, are we going to have to support families with technology and how are we going to pivot to that?" he said. "Certain things will be more costly so we're going to be asking for the community's help in a big way to support the families we serve."

The city of Scottsdale is also collecting donations for students in need. You can drop off supplies at the Vista Del Camino Community Center located at 7700 E. Roosevelt St., Monday- Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.

If you are a family in need of help, the HeroZona Foundation is holding a drive-thru "Tools 4 School" backpack distribution on Saturday, July 25, from 7 a.m. to 10 a.m. at American Legion Travis L. Williams Post 65, located at 1624 E. Broadway Rd. The event will be open to the public on a first-come, first-serve basis.