In an effort to help the silent population of teens who aren’t getting basic necessities at home, the United Fund of Surry began a new program earlier this month that will do just that.
According to Kate Appler with the United Fund, the United For Teens Fund Drive is a way to make the community aware of an overlooked need among teens in the community. So far, four businesses including Renfro Corp., United Plastics, Nester Hosiery and SouthData are pitching in to help make a difference.
She said one story best illustrates the need that is out there.
“There was a student at an unmentioned school who volunteered to do laundry at the school for the PE (Physical Education) classes. As it turned out, he was doing that so that he could wash his own clothes,” said Appler. “He was finally able to tell that story as an adult.”
She said kids can be smart in the ways that they overcome hardships.
“This is a way to help. We know these employees can sometimes be struggling themselves, but this is a way for them to help if they can only donate $2 worth of items,” said Appler.
She said this project involves 600 to 700 employees in the area, and the public is encouraged to donate as well. Drop boxes are set up at each of the businesses’ lobbies.
Donations will be accepted through Aug. 31. They will then be sorted out and distributed to each of Surry County’s five high schools.
Unlike the backpack food programs at area middle and elementary schools, these teens will be helped in a less obvious way as to not embarrass them, Appler said. She said guidance counselors and teachers will help identify needs among students, then distribute the items accordingly.
Appler said they are looking for donations of foods that are easy to prepare such as Easy Mac, ramen noodles, single-serve fruits and vegetables, cereal or protein bars, Pop Tarts, canned soup and ravioli, microwaveable meals that don’t require refrigeration, peanut butter, nabs, individual packaged cookies and snacks, muffin mix and individual packets of powered milk.
Toiletry items needed include shampoo, soap, deodorant, toothbrushes and toothpaste, razors and feminine products.
Other items needed include donations of sturdy new or gently used backpacks, underwear, socks and laundry detergent.
For more information, contact the United Fund of Surry at 789-3087.
Reach Mondee Tilley at email@example.com or at 719-1930.