Aid for families struggling with costly school supplies

Published 9:00am 2 February 2022

Aid for families struggling with costly school supplies
Words by Ashleigh Howarth

Families struggling financially to buy back-to-school supplies have received a helping hand thanks to a Moreton Bay organisation.

Volunteers from Stationery Aid at Ferny Hills have spent countless hours packing boxes full of essential items disadvantaged children will need when term one begins. 

They helped students from 20 schools, five of which were from the Moreton Bay Region. A total of 70 families from the region have benefited.

Stationery Aid Co-founder Alison Schutt said she and her team had worked hard to sort through the thousands of donations they received.

“We collect excess used and unused school stationary that is in good working condition and we sort through them and clean them to the highest possible standard so they can be donated in booklist packs and stationery packs for the new school year,” Mrs Schutt said.

“For example, we get plenty of notebooks where there might only be a few pages that have writing on them, but the rest of the book is still good to use.

“We might also get stationery items where there is a name on it, which is easy to clean off, or pencils which have only been used a handful of times. We sharpen them up and they’re good as new again.

“By renewing these items, not only are we helping families in need, but we are also preventing them from going to landfill.”

Inside the packs are items such as exercise books, textbooks, pens, pencils, erasers, rulers, sharpeners, highlighters, glue, folders, book covers, art supplies, calculators, musical instruments, headphones and more.

Aid for families struggling with costly school supplies

Where the donations go

Stationery Aid works with schools and chaplains to determine where the packages are needed the most.

“We work with Scripture Union and the chaplains identify the students who are in need.

“They might be families going through hardship, unemployment, domestic violence or (who are) destitute,” Mrs Schutt said.

“The chaplains then pass on the packs to the students.”

Stationery Aid also receives calls from organisations such as The Salvation Army and Variety Queensland, who have families experiencing hardship.

Donations are collected from various school drop-off locations.

For more information about how to help visit stationeryaid.org

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