Volunteer Ascension announces its annual 'School Tools' and 'School Uniform' distribution

Staff Writer
Gonzales Weekly Citizen

Volunteer Ascension's 16th annual "School Tools" drive was complete when the doors of bus No. 3 slammed shut during last week's "Stuff the Bus" which was held on July 17 in the Office Depot parking lot in Gonzales. The "Stuff the Bus" partnership with WBRZ , along with a weekend collection on July 13 enabled Volunteer Ascension to collect over $43,000 of supplies and donations for Ascension Parish children in need. Those items have been sorted and inventoried and will be distributed to school children who are in need. Executive Director, Sherry Denig stated, "Each teacher will assess the needs in her class during the first few days of school. Based on those needs, teachers will complete a school supply request form. These request forms are sent to us and orders are filled with the supplies that we have collected. It is a need-based system that has worked very well for us. We aren't just sending what we think kids might be able to use, we are sending exactly what the teachers have told us their students need."

In addition, Volunteer Ascension's 12th Annual School Uniform Program is once again coming to a close, as summer volunteers have collected, sorted and repaired recycled uniforms for distribution to K-8th grade students in need. Through uniform donations of Ascension Parish residents and monetary donations from businesses such as Grainger Industrial Supply of Gonzales, the inventory for this year's program is nearly ready for distribution. Sherry Denig, Executive Director of Volunteer Ascension states, "Grainger has provided much needed funding for this program. Through collaboration with St. Vincent DePaul's 'Uniforms for Kids,' we are able to make the very most of every dollar that is donated. We are looking forward to another successful year of providing uniforms to children who are in need."

School Uniform Distribution will take place at the Pecan Grove Primary Cafeteria on Wednesday, July 31 (9-5) and Thursday, August 1 (9-12). Parents/Guardians need photo ID, Social Security cards and proof of income or reduced lunch eligibility. Parents/Guardians should provide sizes and school information for each child receiving uniforms.

Volunteer Ascension would like to thank the School Uniform collection sites that have played such a huge part in the uniform collections this summer: Dutch's Cleaners, LeJeune's Cleaners, Kean's the Cleaners (Gonzales, Hwy 44 at Germany Rd and Prairieville), Uniform Post and Sac's Western Store. They would also like to thank the St. Elizabeth Physicians Couriers who picked up and dropped off donated uniforms throughout the summer.

To volunteer to help with distribution of school uniforms or to donate funds, please call the Volunteer Ascension office at (225) 644-7655 or follow on Facebook.

Volunteer Ascension, where Volunteers are Changing Lives, is a local not-for-profit service organization that strives to positively impact the needs of Ascension Parish by promoting and developing volunteerism. Since 1997, Volunteer Ascension has provided 8,042 volunteers who have donated 61,097.50 hours to community service through programs such as Community Services, ConnecTeens, Make A Difference Day, School Tools and School Uniforms. Patron Level funders are Parish of Ascension, Atmos Energy Corporation, Air Products, BASF, EATEL, Fab-Con, Grainger, St. Elizabeth Hospital andWhitney Bank. Volunteer Ascension is a member of the Points of Light Institute/Hands on Network and receives funding from the community and local private sector.