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Area organizations prepare for back to school

With just 30 days until kids in Monongalia County start the 2021 school year, area nonprofits are preparing to collect and distribute school supplies.

The Dominion Post reached out to multiple local organizations to find out what programs they are running and how people can help.

Pantry Plus More:

Backpacks stuffed with school supplies will be distributed from 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Aug. 7 at the Mountaineer Mall as part of the 4th annual Back to School Bash. 

In addition to the backpacks, teachers and principals will be giving out at least five books per child, said Christine Wang, advisor to the board. Every kid will also get a tote bag full of hygiene products.

The Monongalia County Health Department dental bus will be on site. 

Wang said monetary donations are wonderful because it allows the organization to buy in bulk. Donations of goods are accepted and “a few hundred” pairs of over-the-ear headphones for younger kids and basic scientific calculators for the older students are needed. 

“They don’t have to be anything fancy but they need to be able to do basic scientific calculator functions,” Wang said. 

Donations of supplies can be dropped off at 9 Rousch Drive in Westover. Checks can be mailed there as well or a donation can be made through

Wang said volunteers are needed on Aug. 6 at 4 p.m. to prepare. On the day of, volunteers are needed from about 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. To volunteer find the group on Facebook or call Roark Sizemore at 304-282-1123.

Christian Help:

Back to School shopping for all school age children is being held from 9a.m.-3p.m. Aug. 16-20.

“They can come shopping to get clothing items including outfits, undergarments, shoes, and socks, for their school aged kids K-12,” said director Colleen Lankford, 

There is no pre-registration required and needs will be facilitated based on the available stock.  And of course, the shopping is free. 

“Everything under our roof is free every day of the year,” Lankford said.

Tennis shoes and undergarments are the primary needs for the organization. Lankford said they focus on tennis shoes because they fill multiple roles and are required for gym class so it’s important for kids to have a pair. 

Christian Help also collects school supplies which are given to school counselors to distribute as needed, Lankford said.

New shoes and clothing are preferred so that kids can have the same experience as their peers, Lankford said. However, gently used items are also accepted. 

Supplies or items can be dropped off at Christian Help at 219 Walnut Street. Direct financial donations can be made at an Amazon wishlist is also available on the website.

Scott’s Run Settlement House:

“We’re trying to provide the actual backpack and fill it up with some basic school supplies needed for the start of school,” program coordinator Courtney LaFollette said. “Our program is open to any child K-12 in Mon County that needs it.”

LaFollette said the backpacks are filled with notebook paper, binders, “we always need binders, we go through those really quick,” pens, pencils, erasers, folders, spiral notebooks and the like. Age appropriate supplies such as scissors for younger students are also provided.

To donate supplies, call 304-599-5020 to make sure there is somebody to help unload, LaFollette said. Backpacks for high school students are a particular need.

For those who want to donate money it can be done through Paypal at

To get a backpack, call and provide the child’s information and the backpack will be ready in a few days, LaFollette said.

Casa for Kids:

After a successful first year, Court Appointed Special Advocates for Childrenis holding its second back to school supply drive.

Executive Director Crissi Christy said a donation box will be in the Monongalia County Justice Center from Aug. 3-17 and flyers around town will have a QR code to a wishlist on Amazon. A link to the wishlist will also be on

All kinds of school supplies are needed and will go kids helped by the program which connects volunteers to children that need a voice in the court system.

However, last year’s drive was so successful CASA was able to donate supplies to foster kids, Christy said.