It’s great to see the public’s willingness to contribute school supplies. A large number of our residents are single parents. Some work more than one low-paying job. There is a housing shortage and rent is high. Many people are struggling.
Many of us can remember a time when there were few homeless people; a time before dollar stores, payday loan companies, no summertime school lunches and a Goodwill store.
Some local non-profits and churches have been donating supplies for a number of years, because they saw a need. Dems for Kids, a program of the local Democrat Party, is entering the 21st year of donating supplies. During that time, the need for school supplies have increased each year.
In our first year, 2001, a survey of school principals showed a total of about 25 needy students in all county schools combined. A similar survey done in 2021 showed that depending on the school, 60% to 70% of the students need help.
Adding up the cost of supplies needed by 5fifth grade Wilmington students on a list provided by the school, totals over $50. Costs for supplies for other grades are similar. This is in addition to costs for school activities and clothing.