Local report

Local members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints collected more than 18,000 school-supply items in a community drive held Saturday.

Church and community members collected the items, which will help support students in the Central Point and Eagle Point school districts. The effort was coordinated by the church's Public Affairs Committee.

The school supplies collected included 7,698 pencils, 1,756 pens, 4,536 crayons, 560 packages of paper, 112 backpacks and 43 hygiene kits. There were also 104 ear buds donated, which will be used with tablets in Eagle Point School District classrooms.

Members of all nine of the local LDS congregations in Central Point, Eagle Point, White City, Gold Hill and Medford contributed after a list of needed supplies was distributed to each congregation. The supplies were delivered to a Central Point chapel on Saturday. The organizers also solicited donations from the public after interviewing a principal and two teachers about the need and posting those interviews on Facebook.

"When people in our community understand the needs of children, it is amazing how generous and helpful they are to address those needs," said David Wright, a member of the church who participated in the effort.

The donations will be put to good use, said Samantha Steele, superintendent of the Central Point School District.

“District 6 serves a diverse student population that includes many students in poverty,” said Steele. “These students sometimes need everything from meals and clothes to school supplies and toiletries, and we’re fortunate to live in a community who supports our students in need to provide these essential items. Whether it’s a kindergarten student’s first box of crayons or a high school student’s shampoo and soap, donated supplies address the profound challenges that can keep students from success."