Gathering backpacks and notebooks, APSO volunteers supply students with school tools

Gathering backpacks and notebooks, APSO volunteers supply students with school tools
APSO volunteers and shoppers include from left to right: Haley Hare, Lottie McClantoc and Eleanor Clinkscales-Davis. (contributed)

The Alabama Power Service Organization has 10 chapters across the state. Throughout the summer, they prepare for the start of the school year by raising money, collecting school supplies and gathering food for schools and children.

Many divisions give away backpacks filled with school supplies. After raising money and supplies, APSO volunteers assemble backpacks full of crayons, notebook paper, pencils and more.

The Gorgas and Southern Division chapters host one-day events for backpack giveaways. Gorgas gave out 250 backpacks in 2015 but doubled that number this year in hopes to help out more children and families in need.

Terri Black, Gorgas’ APSO member, enjoys seeing the smiling faces of children after they receive a new box of crayons and notebooks. “It’s like nothing you have seen before,” she said.

The Eastern Division chapter members discretely distribute the backpacks to children whose names are submitted at the end of each school year by teachers and counselors in the St. Clair and Pell City school systems. Backpacks are dropped off to the  teachers and are waiting for students on the first day of class.

“I just love giving back and knowing that kids will have school supplies on their first day,” said Eastern Division project chair Amanda Young.

The Miller Steam Plant subchapter has been taking donations of school supplies and food for their annual giveaway and to assist Backyard Blessings with its community outreach.

Backyard Blessings is a nonprofit organization that provides food to needy children weekly. They discreetly supply nonperishable items such as microwavable mac and cheese, pudding and juice every Friday so the children will have food over the weekend.

“It’s just a fun time,” said Miller APSO member Beth Shumate. They’re looking forward to bringing smiles to children’s faces and helping them start the school year right.

Money and supplies within each division are collected throughout the year in yard sales, lunches, candle sales and more.

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