The parking lot of the Key Peninsula Civic Center became a massive drive-through back-to-school supply donation festival Aug. 8, thanks to the efforts of the Children’s Home Society of Washington – Key Peninsula Family Resource Center, which spearheaded a broad-based community effort to help families in need.
The third annual event was twice the size of the previous year, according to CHSW Program Manager Gina Cabiddu, providing 152 Peninsula School District students with backpacks full of school supplies, together with new shoes, clothes, headphones and masks gathered by two dozen sponsors and donors, and 40 volunteers.
Student needs were identified and met by CHSW and other local organizations, including Rotary Club of Gig Harbor, Harbor Christian Center - Harbor Hope Center, the Kiwanis, Chapel Hill Church and FISH Food Bank. Subway also donated lunches.
Families drove through six different stops in the parking lot to receive supplies from a safe distance, cheered on by volunteers, teachers and staff, including Communities in Schools of Peninsula and their four-legged Tutors with Tails reading mentors, Rohan, Brodie and Sasha.
“I have never known a community that took such good care of the kids going back to school,” said one new mom at the event.
CHSW staff delivered supplies to families unable to attend.
The variety of school supplies were selected to help students adapt to online classes and to learn in different ways. In addition to more traditional materials, STEM and art supplies were included complete with instructions and exercises for at-home experiments and projects, sending a small part of the classroom home for students until students can return to the classroom.