It’s that time of year again and Ponoka Family and Community Support Services (FCSS) is in need of donations for its Tools for School program.
The program provides assistance to about 30 local children each year. All donations are used in the town and county of Ponoka only.
“I think, more so now in this day and age, we need monetary donations more than supply donations,” said Shelly Van Eaton, program coordinator.
Because Ponoka Elementary School provides supplies up to Grade 3 as part of school fees (at a reduced cost than retail), FCSS is finding a higher need for help with school feels rather than supplies, says Van Eaton.
However, there is still a high need for backpacks, lunch kits, scientific calculators and binders.
Those who feel they have a need for assistance can inquire about eligibility at FCSS.
Families can then choose either $25 towards school fees or a $25 credit to Central Office Supplies to choose their own supplies, as well as choose a a few items from donations at FCSS.
Those wishing to make donations can do so at FCSS, or at participating businesses around town. Coin jars for cash donations and boxes for purchased items labeled with the Ponoka FCSS Tools for Schools logo have been placed throughout the town.
Monetary donations to FCSS are used to purchase needed items based on supply lists from all the local schools, or applied to students’ school fee account.
A local man made a donation last year and then went to social media to challenge others to donate, which had a ripple effect.
“It triggered a lot of action … last year was the best I’ve ever seen,” said Van Eaton.
“It set us up for this year pretty good.”
Although the need for donations is not as crucial this year due to the generous donations from last year due to the challenge, donations are still needed, welcomed and appreciated as the program heavily relies on donations, says Van Eaton.
Donations from community businesses, individuals and organizations are all needed to avoid a deficit so the program can continue to run.
“Our community pulls together when in need.”