Puyallup Herald

Puyallup students return to school soon. Here’s how you can help with supplies for those in need

Red Canoe Credit Union staff members Carissa Crawford and Chantel Bowers stand beside a canoe full of school supplies. The school supply drive supports Puyallup School District students who can’t afford their own materials.
Red Canoe Credit Union staff members Carissa Crawford and Chantel Bowers stand beside a canoe full of school supplies. The school supply drive supports Puyallup School District students who can’t afford their own materials. Courtesy

Believe it or not, a new school year is a little less than a month away.

Some students in the Puyallup School District can’t afford school supplies they need.

Luckily, school supply drives are popping up around town, and there’s one that will match your donation pound for pound.

Red Canoe Credit Union partners with dozens of local businesses and organizations for Fill the Canoe Supply Drive, which collects school supplies for students in the Puyallup School District who need them. Pencils, notebooks, calculators, backpacks, rulers and anything else a student might need for school are accepted.

The supply drive is open for donations at various locations through Aug. 24.

Last year, Fill the Canoe collected 3,161 pounds of school supplies, equaling 22,800 items valued at more than $24,000. More than 400 backpacks, 1,000 spiral notebooks and 9,500 individual pencils were donated. Red Canoe matched that, bringing the total to more than 6,000 pounds of supplies.

After supplies are collected, they are counted by volunteers and organized into boxes to be given to Communities in Schools of Puyallup, which distributes them to all 32 schools in the district.

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Volunteers for the Fill the Canoe School Supply Drive organize thousands of dollars worth of school supplies to be given to students in need in the Puyallup School District. Karissa Thompson Courtesy

The supply drive has been going on for about eight years, said Karissa Thompson, Red Canoe Credit Union business development and community outreach coordinator.

“The poundage has increased by 500 pounds each year,” Thompson said.

She said this year she wants to “knock it out of the park,” and added supply drives at new locations, including the Puyallup Police Department and Meraki Art House, both in downtown Puyallup.

Drop-off locations include the Puyallup City Hall, Banner Bank on South Hill, Colombia Bank, Light of the Hill United Methodist Church, Puyallup School District Education Service Center, Red Canoe Credit Union off 39th and Meridian, South Hill Mall, Studio 210 Hair Design, the Washington State Fair and Mel Korum YMCA.

For a complete list of participating businesses, visit puyallup.ciswa.org.

The city of Sumner also is hosting a supply drive, with drop-off locations at Sumner City Hall and the Sumner Police Department.

The Sumner/Bonney Lake Family Center is hosting the 19th annual Back-to-School Resource Fair for Sumner School District students from 4-7 p.m. on Aug. 21 at Daffodil Valley Elementary, 1509 Valley Ave E. in Sumner. Students can receive free school supplies, haircuts, and immunizations (if a vaccine record is provided).

Allison Needles: 253-597-8507, @herald_allison
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