St. Vincent Jennings volunteers stuffing bags with supplies to help students

An army of volunteers is again ensuring that students from low-income families have the supplies they’ll need for the upcoming school year.

For the 16th year, St. Vincent Jennings Hospital employees, staffers and community volunteers have packed hundreds of bags with pens, pencils crayons, glue sticks, notebooks, markers, scissors and other items. The program is designed to help families with supplies that can easily add up to $50 per student.

“The whole community has always been good to help us with this and we have businesses and sponsors that help, too,” St. Vincent employee Michelle Vanosdol said.

Distribution of 350 school bags with supplies to Jennings County students in kindergarten through eighth grade will begin this week. Staff members in each of the schools compiled lists of students who need assistance obtaining school supplies and forwarded the list to the St. Vincent Jennings.

However, program organizers said more donations of supplies are needed to meet the need of students.

“We collect supplies all year long and we have enough to get started, but we will need more supplies to fill all the bags that have been requested this year,” Vanosdol said.

“We know we need over 300 bags and we also know we have additional last-minute requests made, so we are planning to fill at least 350 bags this year,” she added.

How to help

Anyone wishing to donate supplies can take them to the main entrance of St. Vincent Jennings Hospital, 301 Henry St., North Vernon, where there are boxes marked for the program. Vanosdol said donations of cash are accepted and is used to buy supplies. Those who want to donate cash should call 812-352-4310.Anyone wishing to volunteer to help pack the school bags with supplies should call 812-352-4319.

Need supplies?

Families of any students who did not have an opportunity to apply for help with school supplies but need help can apply by calling the school district’s administration office at 812-346-4483.