Back-To-School Donation Drive

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Payson Community Kids has more children than ever to clothe this year.

To help as many as possible, they are looking toward the annual back-to-school clothing and supplies drive they share with the Time Out Shelter.

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"We have been saving donated tennis shoes all summer for back to school," said Marcy Rogers, director of Payson Community Kids.

Payson Community Kids serves 60 low-income children from kindergarten through high school. Time Out serves 20 to 30 children who will need to be outfitted for school.

"We really need cash to buy sturdy backpacks," said Marcy Rogers, director of Payson Community Kids.

She has washed and saved good-condition used sneakers all summer, in anticipation of back-to-school needs, so children are able to choose a pair they like that fits.

Eleven-year-old Erin picked out sneakers with purple stripes.

"I like these because they are good running shoes and I can wear them in P.E.," she said.

But, there are not enough tennis shoes to go around. Cash donations will go toward buying shoes in sizes the program does not currently have.

"Even $10 checks help," Rogers said.

Donations of new socks -- preferably in solid colors, so matching is easy for parents --and underwear are also needed.

The returning students need gently used clothing for weather that is still bound to be warm -- shorts, shirts and jeans.

The return to the classroom means students also need school supplies.

Children in the programs are encouraged to bring in their teacher's list of items for the classroom, but donations of standard items is always appreciated.

That basic list includes pencils, erasers, pens, folders, wide-ruled paper, construction paper, washable markers and tissues.

"We never have enough 3-ring binders or pencil boxes," said Jean Oliver, education coordinator for Time Out.

Rogers will accept requests from parents to assist with back-to-school needs, but they must be low-income qualified. Children in Time Out's shelter and those enrolled in the Community Kids program receive clothing and supplies first.

Donation boxes will be placed around town on Monday at the Payson Roundup, Payson Public Library, Payson Town Hall, Payson Fire Department, The Small Café, Mountain Bible Church, Ponderosa Baptist and Payson United Methodist Church.

Other businesses willing to host a donation box or parents who wish assistance may contact Rogers at (928) 472-7163.

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