“Hands to Help” Collecting Donations of Back to School Supplies

The Merrimack community is coming together in its annual drive to collect school supplies for economically disadvantaged children of Lawrence, Massachusetts.

The college’s Hands to Help/Manos Para Ayuda neighborhood resource center is organizing the drive and will distribute supplies during the Back to School Festival scheduled to be held at St. Mary of the Assumption Elementary School parking lot July 21.

“It speaks directly to the college’s mission of elightening minds, engaging hearts and empowering lives,” said Community Outreach & Special Projects Director Alisha Reppucci.

Economically challenged families often have trouble buying school supplies in the same way they have trouble buying Christmas presents, said Rosana Urbaez, assistant director of Hands to Help in the Office of Mission & Ministry. Since Hands to Help advocates for student success, it runs the school supply drive annually before the start of the academic year.

The resource center is relying on donations to fill backpacks with supplies for several hundred of students, Urbaez said. The center is also accepting financial donations.

“We want the festival to be an engaging event for families, so we will have a bouncy house and art projects, so we’re directing resources toward that,” Urbaez said. “So, we need as many donations as possible.”

Needed donations include notebooks, loose leaf paper, binders, number 2 pencils, sharpeners, colored pencils and Crayons, markers, folders, highlighters, metric rulers, calculators, glue sticks, index cards, sticky note pads, clear tape, zippered pencil pouches and pencil cases, and construction paper.

Supplies and financial contributions can be dropped off or mailed to Reppucci’s office at room 376 in suite 370 on the third floor of the Sakowich Campus Center until July 12. Volunteers are also needed to work at the Back to School Festival. To volunteer email Urbaez at urbaezr@merrimack.edu and for more information call Urbaez or Community Outreach & Special Projects Director Alisha Reppucci at (978) 258-1632.

As part of its mission, Hands to Help offers tutoring and mentoring for students through high school.

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