The members of the Facebook group Need Something? Got something? have been receiving dozens of messages a day from families who need help with school supplies, clothing and food.
“The cost of getting your child back to school seems to grow larger every year,” said Carla Crotty, founder of the Facebook group, Need Something? Got Something? “It can be an emotional time for families.”
Deanne Glavine is a single mother who not only has a young daughter to get ready for back to school, but she is also going back to school herself.
“I was speaking with my friend in Ontario, who could tell I was stressed out about having to get both me and my daughter ready for September,” said Glavine. “She is actually the person who found the group for me.
“Within two hours of posting in the group asking for school supplies, I had three people contact me. One girl got everything on my daughter’s list.”
Glavine’s hours at work were cut back to part time last year, and she decided to go back to school to further her education.
“I was starting to feel like there was no good left in the world, and I had nowhere to turn,” said Glavine. “It’s amazing how these strangers were so willing to help me.”
Danielle Penney has been a member of the group for just over a year. She told The Telegram that she is fortunate enough to be able to use the group to help others.
Recently, Penney uploaded a picture of assorted makeup kits that she was giving away.
“Although I realize that makeup isn’t a back-to-school necessity, I hope that it can boost somebody’s confidence when heading back to class,” said Penney.
“If a parent is struggling to afford supplies, things like makeup would be last on the list.”
Crotty told The Telegram that members have been especially generous this year, but the need is also bigger than ever.
“We’ve been very lucky so far,” said Crotty. “When we put out the call for donations a few weeks back, the response was overwhelming. We even received $300 in cash donations.”
Volunteer Chrissie Byrne told The Telegram there was one donation in particular that was incredibly generous — 17 book bags already packed with school supplies.
Kelsey Puddister, her wife Julia and her mother Marlie donated the book bags in memory of her brother Jacob.
“August 24 was the anniversary of my brother’s death,” said Puddister. “We decided that instead of all being sad that day, we would do something good for somebody.”
Puddister told The Telegram that she is thinking about becoming a volunteer with the group.
Byrne has been in charge of purchasing school supplies with monetary donations.
“My role has been to pick up supplies with the cash donations we have been given,” said Byrne. “I am a substitute teacher, so I was confident in the type of supplies I should be getting.
“It’s been so rewarding. The best part has been delivering the supplies.”
Byrne had the opportunity to deliver some of the book bags already.
“I brought two book bags full of supplies to a mother and her two sons,” said Byrne. “The boys were so excited, and they were thanking me over and over. The mother had tears streaming down her face.”
Crotty said she has created a wait list, and the group is trying to help as many families as possible.
“We’re doing what we can at this point,” said Crotty. “This group is a constant reminder that there are still good people left in the world, and a lot of them are in your community.”