Lebanon seeks school supply donations

LEBANON, Ore. - If it is back to school time for the students, then it is also time for Roseanne Hartness to get back in the habit too.

"I come in early to get these backpacks ready for the kids before school starts," Hartness said.

Around this time every year Hartness' office is full of crayons, pencils, paper, folders, glue, and other necessary school supplies.

But this year, Hartness is not filling up as many backpacks as before.

"We usually have what's called a Summer Jubilee, but this year it was canceled," Hartness said.

The event was a driving force behind providing homeless and needy children with backpacks full of school supplies.

This year, however, the event was canceled due to budget constraints.

"Those kids that get their backpacks, the 200 or 400, they're not going to get them this year," Hartness said.

Hartness said last year 279 students in the district were classified as homeless, and that number continues to go up each year.

Her office has received phone calls from 30 families in need of supplies, and she needs to have at least 100 backpacks full by the end of the week.

Right now the district just has enough school supplies to fill up 40 backpacks.

"Everybody else has got new school supplies and then they're coming with broken colored crayons, broken pencils," Hartness said. "That's not going to work, that doesn't fly with me. So I'll do everything I can to make sure these kids start school fresh."

But with each backpack Hartness fills, she said she is hopeful the community will come through and help out too.

All school supply donations can be dropped off or mailed to the Lebanon Community School District Office at 485 South 5th Street in Lebanon. The district is also accepting check donations as well.