MuskogeePhoenix.com, Muskogee, OK

Local News

July 24, 2011

School supply drives up from last year, more needed

With a little more than three weeks before school starts, area residents are showing their generosity in helping make sure kids have enough supplies.

However, more supplies are needed, promoters say.

 “We’re having more donations already,” said Ginger Batson who does public relations and marketing for First National Bank of Muskogee. “We’re three or four times ahead this year than we were this time last year.”

Bank employees recently launched the bank’s 10th annual School Supply Drive for students in Hilldale and Muskogee Public Schools. The bank not only has deposit boxes at its two branches, but also eight other locations throughout Muskogee.

“This year, we’re also trying to notify customers through our teller lines,” Batson said. “Bins already are filling up.”

She said bank staff will divide school supplies among 16 elementary and middle schools.

“We appreciate our customers who give generously and make this drive better every year,” said First National Bank Chief Executive Officer Chris Condley. “As Muskogee’s local bank, we feel it is our responsibility to help those in need in our community.”

Donations also are coming in for the fourth annual school supply drive through Juanita Blair Farmers Insurance Agency. The agency distributes school supplies to 2,200 to 2,300 children at its annual distribution event, Blair said.

Jennifer Hollingshead with the agency said the agency has received $1,100 in donations so far.

“But we’re still $5,100 short of what we need,” Hollingshead said.

She said the agency seeks to distribute more than 13,000 pencils.

“And we’re happy to have pens and pencils with business names,” she said. “We also need markers, boxes of Crayola crayons, glue, glue sticks, pink erasers.”

This year’s distribution will be from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Aug. 6 at the Juanita Blair Agency, 112 E. Peak Blvd. Blair said monetary and supply donations are welcome.

“We don’t ask questions, we have our kits ready,” she said, adding that students have come from as far as Westville.

The Zoe Institute is seeking school supplies for its distribution drive on Aug. 6. Rhonda Clemons Hill said promoters hope to stuff 500 backpacks.

The Zoe Institute and the Cherokee County Ministerial Alliance will host a school supply giveaway from 9 a.m. to noon Aug. 6 at the Tahlequah community building.

Reach Cathy Spaulding at (918) 684-2928 or cspaulding@muskogeephoenix.com.

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