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Supply drive providing Wyoming Valley students with necessities

Newswatch 16's Emily Kress shows us how the United Way is providing students with essentials this year.

WILKES-BARRE, Pa. — For many families, back-to-school shopping will cost them a lot more this year.

"Times are tough, inflationary pressures affect everybody, and things are hard for a lot of families," Bill Jones, president of United Way of the Wyoming Valley, said.

Donations are pouring in for the United Way of the Wyoming Valley's annual "Helping Kids Thrive Supply Drive."

All of the items will be sent to 21 elementary schools across seven districts to stock the Nurse's Pantry.

"It could be I'm in need of hygiene supplies, or they were identified by their teacher or a school staff member that the child is in need of hygiene or health supplies. Then they go to the nurse, and the nurse is able to provide that product to them. Jennifer Deemer, vice president of Community Impact, said. 

"We want to be able to help kids do well in school. And for them to do well, they need supplies, they need the tools that everyone else has," Jones said.

Staff at the United Way said lack of access to basic items is one of the main reasons why kids miss school.

"We identified that as one of the top reasons children are not attending school on a daily basis. Chronic absenteeism could lead to other problems and not doing as well in school as they could be," Deemer said.

The United Way said each year, the need for supplies grows. So the more donations that come in means more kids in the Wyoming Valley can have the best year yet.

"If people want to come in with shampoo, toothbrushes, toothpaste, pencils tablets, all of the crayons, and just all the things that kids need," 

To donate to the United Way of the Wyoming Valley, click here.

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