While school is furthest from most people’s mind, Gateway of Hope is gearing up for their annual school supply drive to outfit more than 350 Langley kids with education items. Web image

Gateway of Hope asks for school supply donations as need grows

Salvation Army looking to outfit more than 350 Langley kids with school supplies

Gateway of Hope’s Family Services Co-ordinator Andrea Voss may just be the only one in Langley thinking about back to school.

“It’s summer, kids are sleeping in and going to the beach. But I’m starting to think about making sure those kids have school supplies come September,” said Voss.

Salvation Army’s Gateway of Hope is ready to start taking donations of school supplies to outfit the more than 350 Langley children who otherwise wouldn’t get the full array of education equipment.

Costs for school supplies continue to increase as does the need from parents who just can’t afford all that the school district requires of them.

“We are seeing a 15 per cent increase of parent registration year after year,” said Voss. Parents can register anytime by calling or arriving in person to Gateway of Hope and providing the child’s CareCard number.

“I think the biggest thing is if we can ease the hardship and anxiety for parents who are thinking ‘how am I going to get supplies this year’ then we should do that,” she said.

“For a lot of kids, they just want to arrive to school the same as the rest of their classmates.”

Gateway of Hope is accepting school supply donations or monetary donations until Aug. 25. Kids go back to school Sept. 5.

Donations of binders, paper, pencils, pencil crayons, markers, glue, scissors, etc. are greatly appreciated, said Voss. New backpacks are also needed.

But with around 350 kids needing supplies, they end up needing thousands of pencils, 350 glue sticks, scissors, 700 binders, etc.

Tax deductible receipts can be given for donations more than $20.

Langley Staples is once again helping out.

For the supplies that are needed but weren’t donated, Voss will go to the local Staples where they will supply the items at cost.

Parents and children alike are so grateful when they come to pick up their backpack full of supplies.

“I remember one child was so excited about a Spongebob pencil holder,” she said.

Donations of new school supplies and backpacks will be accepted during the month of August at Gateway of Hope, located at 5787 Langley Bypass or by phoning 604-514-7375.