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  • School supplies handed out soon

    Students in need are fitted for the fall, thanks to local organizations, donations
  • Local organizations are making the back-to-school season a little less stressful for students in need by providing free school supplies.
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    • School supply giveaway sites
      Saint Vincent de Paul dining hall
      2424 N. Pacific Highway, Medford
      10 a.m. to 2 p.m., Aug. 11-15 and 5 to 7 p.m., Aug. 12 and 14
      The Maslow Project
      500 Monroe St., Medford
      10 a.m. t...
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      School supply giveaway sites
      Saint Vincent de Paul dining hall

      2424 N. Pacific Highway, Medford

      10 a.m. to 2 p.m., Aug. 11-15 and 5 to 7 p.m., Aug. 12 and 14

      The Maslow Project

      500 Monroe St., Medford

      10 a.m. to 2 p.m., Aug. 20-21
  • Local organizations are making the back-to-school season a little less stressful for students in need by providing free school supplies.
    The Saint Vincent de Paul Society will hand out supplies for K-12 students from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., Aug. 11-15 and from 5 to 7 p.m. on Aug. 12 and 14 at its dining hall, 2424 N. Pacific Highway in Medford.
    A parent must provide Oregon Trail Cards or Oregon Health Plan identification for students, who must be present to receive supplies.
    The Maslow Project, at 500 Monroe St. in Medford, will host its annual school-supply giveaway for grades K-12 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Aug. 20 and 21.
    Megan Suess, a family advocate for the Maslow Project, asks those interested in receiving school supplies to call ahead by Aug. 15. Priority will be given to current Maslow Project clients.
    The number of students the Maslow Project can serve will depend on the number of supplies received. Maslow accepts donations of supplies as well as money.
    "We have lots of little things that are donated, but there are also more expensive things we need — like the calculators or the flash drives," Suess said.
    For information about how to donate, including the most-needed items, call Suess at 541-608-6868.
    Bob Christian, who runs the St. Vincent school-supply program with his wife, Debbie, and their daughter, Jasmine, said the number of students they provide with supplies increases each year. He expects to serve 4,500 children this year. Last year, the society served about 4,100.
    Providing 4,500 children with backpacks and enough school supplies to get them started costs close to $90,000. While much of that money is raised through grants, the program also relies heavily on private donations from individuals.
    The best way to donate, Christian said, is with cash. The society contacts schools to find out what each grade needs, then it buys supplies in bulk at a discounted rate.
    "A lot of people will bring in supplies, but often it's supplies we don't even need," Christian said. "With cash, we can buy exactly what the students need."
    Cash or checks can be dropped off or mailed to the society.
    Christian said the months of fundraising and distribution work are worth it when watching students receive their supplies.
    "The joy of it is seeing the children get all this new equipment and supplies," Christian said. "It's so satisfying."
    The society purchases backpacks in a variety of colors to give children a choice.
    "We have them hanging up almost like a retail store and ask which color they would like," Christian said. "They just jump up and down. It's fun."
    Reach Mail Tribune reporting intern Kelsey Thomas at 541-776-4368 or kthomas@mailtribune.com.
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