St. Cloud couples donate $3k for school supplies
wo local couples have teamed up to help raise $3,000 for The Salvation Army’s Back to School fundraiser.
Ann and Mark Thelen along with Diana Murphy-Podawiltz and Mike Podawiltz will donate a total of $3,000 and hope that it inspires others to give. The gift could not come at a more critical time, with the need at an all-time high.
“Three thousand dollars is huge for us,” said Shannon Smithers, St. Cloud Salvation Army volunteer and special events coordinator. “It’s nearly July already, and we are up against the clock since we’re doing all the fundraising and distribution on our own this year.”
In prior years, Catholic Charities also provided free school supplies. The organization ended that program, which means The Salvation Army needs to step in to fill that gap. In 2016, The Salvation Army provided 400 kids with backpacks and school supplies. This year, it anticipates needing to serve closer to 1,500.
On average, The Salvation army pays about $6 per backpack.
“This is a great start and if we can recruit some local businesses to donate supplies, and also encourage groups to hold drives to collect backpacks and supplies, we are hopeful we can meet the need,” said Smithers.
The Salvation Army expects to hold a distribution for backpacks and school supplies in late July or early August.
Supplies that are in most demand are backpacks, notebooks, pens, pencils, glue, folders and markers.
School supply donations are accepted at the St. Cloud Salvation Army, 400 U.S. Highway 10 S., St Cloud, MN 56304 or you can donate online.