For students at 10 schools in Lincoln County, a personal emergency at school just got a little more manageable, thanks to more than $7,000 in donated goods from Altrusa International of Yaquina Bay.
Twice a year, members of Altrusa’s Project School Bell committee purchase clothing, personal hygiene products, outerwear and shoe vouchers to supply students in Newport, Toledo, Siletz, Eddyville, and Waldport with these vital necessities. Based on requests from each school or its school-based health center, Altrusans fulfill each request as budget allows – a tradition that’s been assisting school children for more than 25 years.
Gym shorts, sweatpants, underwear, socks, t-shirts and more are needed when students encounter some kind of emergency at school and need replacement clothing. Elementary, middle and high schools are all supplied, which requires a wide variety of sizes. Students can also be in need of deodorant, hair care products, and feminine hygiene items – also supplied by Altrusa.
“Altrusa volunteers are local business women, mothers, and grandmothers who are committed to the betterment of women and children in Lincoln County,” explained PSB Co-Chair Lin Shubert. “Through the work of this committee, schools are able to give children additional assistance that isn’t otherwise available.”
This fall, Altrusa also supplied backpacks and jackets to those who requested them, as well as more than $3,000 in shoe vouchers that students can use at Payless Shoe Source.
“Teachers and counselors can often identify students who are seriously in need of new shoes. By providing these shoe vouchers to school leaders, they can dole them out to those most in need when appropriate and, by extension, Altrusa has helped improve the lives of many children in Lincoln County,” said Julie Baldwin, PSB Co-Chair.
Altrusa has several important partners in their effort to help children get what they need. The Plum Creek Timber Company provided a $4,000 grant to help with the purchases. Additionally, Payless provided a 15 percent discount on the purchase of shoe vouchers and Wal-Mart provided a 10 percent discount on the goods purchased in their Newport store.
Project School Bell expenditures can exceed $10,000 per year and still not fulfill all of the requests that Altrusa receives for items not covered by ordinary educational funding. Every dollar raised is crucial to this volunteer program.
Altrusa International of Yaquina Bay is dedicated to improving the lives of women and children in Lincoln County through literacy, social and health services, and educational opportunities.
Want to learn more about Altrusa? Visit them online at facebook.com/AltrusaYaquinaBay or call President Doretta Smith at 541-961-6688.