by Jim Keyworth
roundup staff reporter
So far, Marcy Rogers and her cadre of volunteers have outfitted 17 Rim country children for the new school year but time is short and there are still more students in need of clothing.
Rogers, who runs the Payson Community Kids program through the town's Community Development Department, is still looking for donations of new and used clothing, backpacks and other school supplies, and, of course, checks made out to Rim Country Volunteers.
"Some people really enjoy shopping for the clothes themselves, and we can use pretty much all elementary school sizes," she said. "We can use just about any item of clothing except shoes, which have to be fitted to each kid."
The annual back-to-school effort is geared toward helping all local children who need assistance, not just the 30-some kids in her program.
"We are not only looking for donations, but also for the names of kids who we can help," she said. "I hate to see kids start school with holes in their shoes or clothes. It just helps them start the year off right if they have what they need."
Payson Community Kids, for children from disabled families with special needs, is a leadership and community services group, Rogers said.
"Every kid in our program brings something to it, and when we're able to help other kids it helps us too," she said. "Our kids recycle their clothes, their books, things like that. They all give back."
Last year, Rogers received more than $3,000 in donations to outfit children for school. With support like that recently offered by the Rim Country Car Club, she hopes to do even better this year.
"The car club called and said they wanted to make a donation, so our little group got to go to the casino Wednesday night with all the big groups the Humane Society, Hospice, Time Out, the library," Rogers said. "They gave us a check for $700, and Sabrina Johnson, one of the girl's in our program, made this acceptance speech that just melted their hearts.
"The next day, a man from the car club came into my office and gave me a bucket of quarters he had won after the event. It added up to $89."
Other businesses and organizations that have contributed to this year's effort include Mount Cross Lutheran Church, United Methodist Church, Shepherd of the Pines Lutheran Church, Wal-Mart, Fiesta Business Supply, Walgreen's, Vaughn Construction, Telephone Pioneers, Dr. Patty Blackmore and Alpine Family Dentistry.
In addition, contributions have been received from the following individuals and families: the Saunders family, John Clyde, the Hoosava family, the Wilbanks family, the Hickman family, Earl Ross, the Alameda family, the Allen family and the Conrad family.
It's that kind of support that keeps Rogers and her kids going.
"It is so energizing and so fulfilling for me and for the kids," she said.