Help needed for back-to-school charity drive

Stationery is a huge expense that most households cannot afford, says Beverley Strong, of Naruna Estate, who is collecting school supplies and uniforms for children in need.

A Naruna Estate woman is collecting school essentials, including uniforms and stationery, for needy children.

Beverley Strong has been feeding the less fortunate in her community since June 2020 (“Making a difference in Naruna Estate,” Bulletin, August 27, 2020). About 80% of the residents in the more than 150 stated-owned houses are unemployed and have little or no income, according to Ms Strong, who is also the deputy chair of the Naruna Estate Residents’ Association (NERA).

“So many in our community were really struggling to put food on the table and the school assistance just sort of followed on. My community have come to depend on us for their twice weekly meals and help in so many other areas of their lives. People come to me for help to buy medication such as asthma pumps, so we do what we can to help.”

Supported by volunteers, Ms Strong, is running the back-to-school charity drive for the second year.

“We started our back-to-school project at the beginning of last year when parents in our community approached me, as deputy chair, for assistance. There are so many unemployed. We managed to assist our children with school shoes and basic stationery.”

Businesses are asked to donate any unused or old office supplies. “We are grateful for new or used items – we are not fussy. All is welcome,” said Ms Strong.

School uniforms were most in need, she said. “Items most needed are always school shoes, bags, socks, shirts and then stationery, which is a huge expense most households just cannot afford – pens, pencils, erasers, rulers, exercise books, Pritt, brown paper and plastic, pencil crayons and koki pens are the most needed, and then the bigger children need flip files, calculators and maths sets.”

To help, call Ms Strong at 074 341 8252 or visit her at 33 Coombe Road, Naruna Estate.