According to the National Retail Federation, families will spend about $670 a year on back-to-school expenses.
It can be a stressful time for many parents as they prepare their children for the academic year, but many low-income families in the area are getting some relief.Buying scissors, glue sticks and folders for her grandchildren can add up for Jessica Teuscher.
"Having to buy for four children-- that would be a lot to come up with," said Teuscher.
But local school supply drives run by area organizations, like The Salvation Army and James River Church, provide families, like the Teuschers, some relief.
"It's really helpful to get the school supplies that we need," said Teuscher. "We live in low-income housing so we don't have a lot of money to get them and if we didn't get them from here, we probably wouldn't be able to get everything that they need.
"Mandy Long, Development Director at The Salvation Army, said the need for school supply donations in Greene and Christian Counties.
"There's a huge need for school supplies in the area," said Long. "So far, we've seen about three times the number of children already versus over this time last year."
Throughout the week, volunteers from James River Church have been collecting and organizing donations. We want to be a blessing and be able to help relieve any stress or worry and bless their families and really bring a smile to the kids faces so they have everything they need as they enter school," said Tom Mathew, a James River Church Volunteer.
Inside many donated backpacks are essential school supplies, like crayons and notebooks, adding up to $10 to $30 worth of savings for families.
Collectively, the donations can add up. Around this time last year, James River Church, The Salvation Army, and Victory Mission distributed school supplies to more than 5,200 students in the area-- and donation expectations this year are higher-- each item making a difference in a student's life.
"It makes them like everybody else," said Teuscher. They get what everybody else has so it makes it a lot easier on them too.
Families must meet certain income requirements to be eligible for the supplies.
School Supply Collections:
James River Church--
-Saturday, July 26 8am - 12 pm: Walmart Supercenters (Springfield, Ozark, Nixa, Republic)
-Sunday, July 20: James River Church South Campus
-Sunday, July 27: James River Church West campus
The Salvation Army--
-Until Saturday, August 2: 1707 W. Chestnut Expressway
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