The Kiwanis Club of Clermont is asking people to help make sure kids going back to school next month, whether in person or virtual, have all the supplies they need to get their work done.
To do so, the organization is hosting a Back to School Supply Drive and has partnered with four local businesses that have agreed to act as drop-off locations.
Longtime Kiwanian Kalena Meyers, also the Director of Events for Montverde Academy, is heading the effort.
She said she organized it on behalf of Kiwanis after learning residents were looking for help.
Kalena also said it may be the first time the Kiwanis Club of Clermont has ever hosted a back to school drive, though in the past they have donated supplies to other organizations.
“I hadn’t seen anything about anyone doing supply drives right now due to COVID, so when families started reaching out to me, I thought, “Ok, I can do this,” says Kalena.
What Kiwanis of Clermont is asking people or organizations to do is purchase new backpacks (they are not taking used backpacks because of the ongoing pandemic) and fill them with essential supplies such as folders, pencils/pens, crayons/markers, highlighters, hand sanitizer, rulers, scissors, glue, tape, paper, notebooks and face masks.
Kalena says that whether students end up physically attending school or learning virtually, those supplies are a necessary part of their learning.
“The goal is to have backpacks with supplies in them, to distribute to all the families in our communities who need one,” Kalena says. “And even if the kids are a home doing virtual school, they still need supplies to do projects and stuff.”
The drop-off locations for backpacks, supplies or any combination of both are at Clermont Pediatric Dentistry, 3165 Citrus Tower Blvd., Clermont, Dash Sports, 741 W. Montrose St., Clermont, Success Mortgage Partners, 16903 Lakeside Dr., Unit 1, Montverde and Texas Roadhouse, 2457 S. Hwy 27, Clermont.
If dropping off at least two items at Texas Roadhouse, people will receive a free appetizer on their next visit.
If someone would prefer donating virtually however, they can visit Amazon and shop from the organization’s “Wish List” at www.amazon.com/hz/wishlist/ls/3PROU55XUEU7N?ref_=wl_share.
Kalena said if donating virtually through Amazon Wish List, the items will be sent directly to her at Montverde Academy, which is perfectly fine since she’ll have plenty of help sorting any school supplies and backpacks received.
Students of the Montverde Academy’s Headmaster Leadership Institute, during a retreat they will be attending at the school in early August, will be tasked with helping out.
“That will be one of the projects the students will be working on,” Kalena says.
The deadline for donations is August 24 and once sorted, the supplies will be distributed to south Lake County students, and those in neighboring communities.