Children, by definition, are unable to provide for themselves. And while some children eagerly anticipate fall's arrival, connecting it with new markers and notebooks, clothes and perhaps shoes for school -- even if school itself casts an unsavory glow on its exciting utilities -- others must forgo the new.
That's in the best case. In the worst case, they do without.
But with organizations like Time Out and Payson Community Kids -- better known as Marcy's Kids -- every child can hope for a backpack, shoes and underwear.
Children decorated signs on Thursday inside Payson Community Kids for boxes to be placed strategically around town where residents can drop off clothes and school supplies. The annual back-to-school drive benefits area children through both Time Out and Payson Community Kids.
"We think it's about the 10th year," said Payson Community Kids President Marcy Rogers, about the back-to-school drive. The items collected will help Marcy's Kids and children connected to the Time Out program throughout the year, so coats and all-season wear are appreciated as well as warm weather items.
Boxes will be placed at the library, fire stations, and the Time Out Thrift Shop.
"We always need backpacks and socks, pencils and pencil boxes," Rogers said.
Children must also bring their own boxes of tissues to class. Other desired items include underwear, paper plates and disposable cameras, which students can use to take pictures on field trips.
"We're trying to make sure whether it's your kindergarten or senior year, that everybody is fully outfitted for school," said Jean Oliver, Time Out's education coordinator.
"We have a lot of teenagers," she added.
"Imagine being a junior in high school, having to leave your home and stay in a shelter -- school starts. What am I going to do?" Rogers hypothesized.
Time Out provides a shelter and assistance for victims of domestic violence. Payson Community Kids helps at-risk children by providing them clothes, food and role models.
Because both organizations are nonprofit, they readily share their resources.
How to help
The 12th annual Pioneer Title Charity Golf Tournament, Aug. 9 at Payson Golf Course will benefit Payson Community Kids for the third year. For details, call Kim Muller at (928) 474-3235.
Checks to Payson Community Kids or Time Out are also welcome. Both organizations are nonprofit, and donations are tax-deductible.
To mail a donation:
Time Out's mailing address is P.O. Box 306, Payson, AZ 85547. Payson Community Kids' mailing address is 300 W. Wade Lane, Payson, AZ 85541.
To learn what is needed, visit area stores. Many have lists of supplies children need to bring to school with them. Different schools require different materials. Classes for the 2008-2009 school year in the Rim Country start July 30.