The aisles of school supplies in stores mean it’s that time of year again for parents and children to stock up on pencils, pens, markers, rules, notebooks and backpacks.
But not everyone is able to outfit their kids with even the bare necessities for school supplies. That’s where Lake Zurich Community Unit School District 95’s nonprofit organization, Joanie’s Closet, hopes to help.
Joanie’s Closet is holding its first School Supply Drive through Aug. 26.
“It’s one of our major needs for kids and our goal is to give students a good start to the school year,” Donna Young, co-chair of the drive, said of school supplies.
Named in honor of the late Joanie Bednarz, May Whitney school nurse, Joanie’s Closet was formed by the May Whitney Parent Teacher Organization in 2002 to carry on Bednarz’s humanitarianism toward families in need.
Bednarz “was known for giving snacks and clothing to the families that needed it at May Whitney,” said Young.
In 2009, all eight District 95 PTO’s came together and voted to make Joanie’s Closet available to the entire district.
Since then, Joanie’s Closet has been able to provide winter coats, gloves, hats, household supplies, food, gasoline cards and food cards to families in need.
“Each school has a representative from Joanie’s Closet and all requests are done anonymously through staff members, like a social worker or school nurse,” explained Young.
Young and co-chair Amy Flaherty saw the need for school supplies and began the School Supply Drive.
Anyone can donate items by going to five drop-off sites in and around the Lake Zurich community.
- , 275 Mohawk Trail, Lake Zurich
- , 41 S. Rand Road, Lake Zurich
- , 645 N. Rand Road, Lake Zurich
- , 1881 Rose Road, Lake Zurich
Panera Bread, 20533 Rand Road, Kildeer, will collect items through Aug. 26.
Each site will have clearly labeled Joanie’s Closet School Supply Drive collective bins.
“We are definitely in need of the more expensive items like backpacks, but we are just as grateful to receive a box of crayons,” said Young.
All funding for Joanie’s Closet comes from students, teachers, private donations, grants from Hawthorn Woods Women’s Center, and fundraisers that are held throughout the school year.
After Aug. 26, Young and volunteers from Joanie’s Closet will begin putting together backpacks for students that are in need from each grade throughout District 95.
Items that have not been donated will purchased by Joanie’s Closet.
“We will supplement what the drive does not provide, but we are hoping people in the community will contribute,” said Young.
All donations are tax deductible and receipts are available through Young.
For more information contact Donna Young at firstname.lastname@example.org.