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PVEN getting early start on helping students get ready for school

Back-to-school shopping might not be on your mind just yet, but it's the hot topic at Pleasant Valley Ecumenical Network in Chestnuthill Township.

BRODHEADSVILLE, Pa. — A food and clothing pantry in the Poconos is starting its back-to-school donation drive a little earlier this year due to the COVID-19 crisis.

Directors at Pleasant Valley Ecumenical Network (PVEN) said they are taking on more clients and there are new protocols in place for what can and can't be donated.

The organization normally dresses about 175 kids for back to school free of charge, but due to the pandemic, the need is greater this year.

"This year might be even more difficult because a lot of parents have either been laid off, maybe they have reduced hours, or maybe they are in the service industry where they depend upon tips and they won't be getting so much this year. So particularly for families that were in need in prior years, this year the need might be even greater," said Tom Campbell, PVEN president.

  • Donated shirts need to be collared and colors include red, maroon, navy, light blue, white, gray, and black.
  • Navy and khaki pants, dresses, and skirts will be accepted.
  • Sneakers, socks, and underwear are also on the list.

Directors are asking that all the clothing donated be brand new.

"With the COVID-19 crisis, we don't have the resources to sort through things nor can we truly feel safe giving away things that may have been used. So please, only donate things that are either still new in the packaging or still have their tags on them," Campbell asked.

PVEN will also work with families and prepackage back-to-school items for pickup.

"Normally, people are able to come through and shop for clothes that work well for them, but we are simply not able to safely do that and work out the logistics," added Campbell.

PVEN is also looking for school supplies, like backpacks and notebooks. 

People able to donate are asked to drop off the items on Monday or Friday mornings. 

If those days don't work, call PVEN and arrange an appointment.

Back-to-school items will be distributed in August.

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