Each year, the demand for help in accessing school supplies seems to increase. Many families struggle supply the required materials in order for their child to attend school.
What began as a modest effort to help a few dozen families send their children to school has now grown beyond 500 students. And what started as the need for a few extra pens, pencils and markers has now grown to thousands.
That means Friends of Cozumel volunteers must begin months in advance of the July distribution time to gather, sort and assemble the necessary supplies.
A group of 10 resident and visiting volunteers gathered recently to help begin the sorting process. They followed lists in an assembly line that sorted writing utensils, erasers, highlighter, scissors, and more into handmade pencil bags according to the grade level requirements. FOC volunteers made the zippered pencil bags from recycled denim and other fabric scraps. Some of the bags were also made by local people learning to sew.
“We taught how to make these at the sewing workshop,” said Ilene from Texas. “Everyone made two—one for themselves and one to donate to the school supply project.”
After about three hours, the 10 FOC volunteers had filled 350 of the pencil bags. Then the momentum stopped.
“Oh no—we’re out of blue pens,” said Shelley, a volunteer from Minnesota. “And dry erase markers, too.”
Larry, FOC leadership team member, explained that donations are still being accepted and that we hope to have enough to serve 500 students, kindergarten through university, come mid-July.
“People will help,” he said. “If they let us know when they’re coming, we can connect with them. We’ll make sure their donations get into the hands of students in need. And we appreciate every single pen, pencil and calculator.”
Greatest needs: Friends of Cozumel School Supply Project:
300 two-pocket folders
100 pencil sharpeners
300 blue ink pens
50 sets of markers, preferably washable
100 dry erase markers
100 basic calculators
100 scientific calculators
If you’ll be coming to Cozumel and could bring a few of these items to donate, we’d love to talk to you. Please email Larry at: Pedersenll@hotmail.com
“The beautiful thing about learning is that no one can take it away from you.” ~ B.B. King