Durant Woman Collects School Supplies For Needy - KTEN.com - No One Gets You Closer

Durant Woman Collects School Supplies For Needy

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DURANT, OK -- Students here will head back to school next week, and one woman is busy making sure they will have what they need.

The organizer of Families Feeding Families says she gave out school supplies to 2,000 kids last year, and now she is hoping for more donations before this year's giveaway next week.

"We have families that are calling from all over right now asking if they're going to be able to come and have some assistance," says Tish Burkhalter.

The demand is for supplies that kids need to go back to school. For the past several years, Burkhalter has been giving them out to students in need.

"With gas and electric prices and food prices, everything has gone up so much and a lot of people don't have jobs, can't find jobs, or the jobs aren't meeting their needs," Burkhalter says.

Durant's schools superintendent says the district has made an effort to make sure what each child needs to bring costs less than $30.

"Our elementary schools have school supply lists and we've done our best to minimize that as far as cost to the students," says superintendent Dr. Jason Simeroth. "I would say over the past two years it's probably dropped at least in half."

This year, residents have also given $5,000 dollars to help in a Partners In Education gift to the school foundation. "Whether it's construction paper, glue or scissors, a variety of things like that, we've already gone ahead and purchased for the students that's helped," says Simeroth.

Meanwhile, Burkhalter is gathering supplies in hopes of helping kids and their parents.

"You feel obligated as a parent and when you can't do that you've already got a broken heart, it causes pain. So this is something that the parents get to go home and even though they didn't go buy it, they still provided it," says Burkhalter.

If you would like to help, you can drop off supplies at the Bryan Baptist Association at 1920 West Main Street by Monday. Burkhalter says she will also pick up donations and her phone number is (580) 230-9142. The donations will be given out Tuesday morning at the Assistance Center at 501 NE 4th Avenue. 

School starts next Thursday. Durant Middle School and Durant High School students are being asked again to use only mesh or see-through backpacks for security reasons in what the district says is a preventive measure.