The MOMS Club of Jackson, NJ was founded 13 years ago and for those 13 years we have been collecting school supplies and donating them to the children in our community. Like many charitable causes, it starts off small and then continues to grow as we continually improve our methods and extend our reach to people who are in need. This year we donated a record-breaking 170 stuffed backpacks to our local food pantry, who then distribute them to the registered families.

Boy with backbackOur school supply drives begins with our AVP and our Service Projects Committee seeking two things from the businesses and organizations in our community.  First, we seek places to distribute our bins throughout the community, such as the local supermarket, pet store and firehouse.  Here any patron can drop school supply items into the bins.  Second, our club seeks monetary donations to support our back to school supply drive. The donations come from small businesses around town as well as other organizations in our community. These donations bridge the gap with what we collect as far as supplies, and what we actually need to stuff so many backpacks.

Local residents are made aware of our collection because we advertise our school supply drive in the newspaper.  The publicity is a win-win situation for our club because it improves the amount of items that we are collect but also because it draws in new members who may learn about the MOMS Club from the article.

As the distribution dates draws near, our AVP recruits members for various tasks.  She needs to pick up our school supply bins around town and then determine what items and how many need to be purchased.  This is where monetary donations become invaluable because the large tickets items, backpacks and lunch totes, are typically in short supply.  Once all items are collected or purchased, our AVP needs assistance in stuffing the backpacks.  This process includes sorting the items by gender and school age.  For example, we might need 30 middle school girl backpacks according to the food pantry, so the backpacks must be catered to that group. Finally, once the backpacks are prepared, they must be transported to the food pantry, which takes several large SUVs or minivans to move all of the backpacks.

After all of this hard work has been completed, the food pantry distributes all of the backpacks to the school-age children in Jackson who qualify for assistance. All that remains is to thank all the people, organizations, and businesses that supported us for our drive.