by Carrie C. Causey
FRANKLINTON — While most youth are still enjoying their summer break, volunteers of All-N’Together Services are already gearing up for their annual school supply distribution.
All-N’Together is comprised of one Wake Forest and four Franklin County residents and is geared toward improving the lives of the children in the area.
The community service organization began in 2006 when Executive Director Kimmora Brown still lived in Wake County.
“I wanted to start something to help youth,” said Brown, a Franklinton resident. “In 2008, when I moved to Franklin County, I saw there were a lot of young people not getting items they needed for school. So we started Project Pencil Case Kit.”
She is joined by Bertha Williams, Hollis Brown, Shaine Williams and Keziah Brown.
Since then, they have been able to help 150-300 students each year thanks to the generosity of individuals, organizations and businesses.
“We are working to build a strong community,” Brown said. “The youth are our future. When they go to class and not have items, their friends have neat pencils or other items they don’t have. It holds the child back and they lose self-confidence.”
The group has a designated list of items needed for donation.
“We try to make sure we have what the teachers ask for,” Brown said.
Items desperately needed include backpacks, colored pencils, highlighters, book covers, primary handwriting tablets, safety scissors, hand sanitizer, markers, calculators and Kleenex.
Other items of importance are glue sticks, pencil sharpeners, pencil cases, pencils, rulers, pens, pencil top erasers, composition notebooks, block erasers, multiple subject notebooks, crayons, binders, notebook paper and pocket folders.
“We have a shortage of backpacks,” Brown said. “They can be used if they are in good condition.”
Brown said they have volunteers who enjoy taking part in the project and love to do it each year.
In part, it’s because of the children’s response.
“To see the smile on the children’s face when they get a backpack...,” Brown said. “I never went without a backpack. The children are so happy just to receive a bookbag or a notebook.
“The parents are so grateful and say they thank God for the program. Several come each year and rely on getting their supplies from us.”
Sign up to participate
Those who would like their children to receive school supplies should go to allntogether.webs.com to fill out an application or print it and mail it.
“The only requirements are that we ask that we be the only organization giving you supplies and you not go organization to organization, that you only sign up if you really are in need of supplies and that parents be with the children when they get the supplies.”
Anyone from Wake Forest or Franklin County is welcome to sign up as long as their children are in kindergarten through 12th grade.
Registration deadline is Aug. 3. Supplies pickup will take place Saturday, Aug. 17 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the Franklinton Public Library.
All-N’Together Services also has expanded to offer the drive to Durham residents.
To have items picked up or for more information, call 919-559-9629. To learn more or to apply, visit allntogether.webs.com.