This year, the group will help poorer children by providing gift certificates for shoes, along with notebooks, binders, paper, pens, pencils, dividers, rulers, dictionaries, calculators, highlighters, permanent markers, erasers, folders, supplies for reports and other items.
A $40 donation, earmarked for “backpacks,” fully sponsors a student. All donations to the campaign go directly to students.
“I can’t think of a better way to support our children,” operating director Linda Lovelace said. “When they aren’t properly prepared for school with the tools they need, it always compromises their future.”
To support the campaign, Executive Director Annette Marcum will kiss a pig at the Santa Cruz County Fair on Sept. 14. A vote for Marcum is $1, with half going to VCUM and the other half toward scholarships and activities for Felton 4-H club. Votes can be entered at Valley Churches, 9400 Highway 9, in Ben Lomond.
In 2009, the charity helped 320 students in Scotts Valley and the San Lorenzo Valley with school supplies. Because of the economic climate, the group launched the campaign early this year, as it anticipates more requests for help.
Valley Churches United Missions has collected and distributed food, financial aid and other forms of support since it was founded in 1982. In 2009, its budget topped $1 million for the first time, with less than 5 percent in overhead costs.
At a glance
WHAT: Valley Churches United Missions back-to-school drive
WHERE: Mail donations to VCUM, attn: Backpacks, P.O. Box 367, Ben Lomond 95005; or drop them off at Valley Churches United Missions, 9400 Highway 9; the Scotts Valley Chamber of Commerce, 360 Kings Village Road; or Ben Lomond Gas Station, 9500 Highway 9