SALEM – The school does not start for another six weeks, but Church Women United in Salem is once again making sure that needy children have new equipment for that first day at Salem schools.
The annual pass for return to school is scheduled from 9:00 to 12:00 and from 13:00 to 14:00. 24 and 25 July and 9:00 to 12:00 and 15:00 to 18:00 26 July and 1 August at the Emmanuel Lutheran Church Education Building, 251 S. Broadway Avenue.
The program only concerns children from low-income families in the school district of Salem city (along with St. Paul) who are entering grades from the start to eighth grade.
Parents or guardians who bring their child to apply for a Walmart clothing voucher must present two proofs of income and residence along with the child's name, age, date of birth and the school grade they enter. in this fall. Every child will have the opportunity to choose an appropriate reading book to keep during registration.
The vouchers can be used to purchase clothes and shoes to return to school at the Salem Walmart and are valid only from 1 August to 31 August. The voucher values range from $ 50 to $ 70 and are in the name of the child. The child must be with the parent to redeem the voucher, with all final sales, without money refunded and without exchanges.
At the end of the shopping, the parent must bring the clothes, their child, the voucher and a photo ID card to the check-out service counter.
"This is our great program. People don't see it now, they really do it." said program assistant coordinator Laurel Todd.
She has been around since the beginning of the program, which started many, many years ago. She failed to report an exact number, but in the beginning said that the members of Church Women United would go to Kmart and buy the clothes, based on the sizes presented in the applications, and set a distribution date to pass them on.
In 2006, they switched to a voucher program and started working with Walmart.
Since that time (2006), the total number of families served during the past year amounted to 2,627 including 5,552 children. Every year the number of families fluctuates, from 172 in 2007 to a maximum of 232 in 2009. Last year the number was 202. The number of children is also fluctuating, with 357 in 2007 to 482 in 2009. L & Last year the number was 425.
Todd also noted that they have applications written in Spanish for all the Hispanic families that qualify.
The program, coordinated by Pat Doering, is supported by the Pearce Foundation, the Salem Community Foundation and donations from churches, individuals and organizations. Letters have been sent to various churches, organizations and clubs and individuals who have donated previously.
Anyone wishing to donate is invited to write a check to Church Women United and write Back to School in the memo line. The check must be handed over to treasurer Gail Tetlow.
For the first time ever last winter, the group gave mattresses to children who needed them, along with pillows, blankets and sheets. The number was 120 Serta twin mattresses.
"Our goal is to be a service to the community" Todd said. "Our greatest concern is the community, which serves where we live".
That service for Salem Church Women United began with the organization of the group in 1949, bringing together Christian women of different denominations in the community to form a prayer and a service.
The non-profit group includes the active participation of women in 13 churches. Church Women United identified the need for the local AID and helped initiate the Quaker Day Care. Current officials include President Ila Jeanne Paxson, Vice President Pauline (P.J.) Devine, Secretary Sue Motherwell, Treasurer Gail Tetlow and Deputy Treasurer Laurel Todd.