11 Book DriveThe economy does not work well for some individuals. For many, keeping food on the table and lights on in the house is a challenge. It is not an easy task for some students to obtain school supplies for the upcoming school year, and that is why the Register of Deeds Office is having its annual backpack school supply drive for Cumberland County Schools’ homeless students.

The idea for the school supply drive started when one of the senior staff members at the Register of Deeds Office came to work discouraged. She shared that at church the previous evening there was a presentation on the number of homeless students in Cumberland County. She indicated there were some children who lived in storage units, under bridges and in vacant houses. This news affected the entire office. The office had a meeting that day and decided they wanted to try to help.

“This is our 10th year that we have collected school supplies for backpacks for Cumberland County’s homeless students,” said J. Lee Warren Jr., register of deeds for Cumberland County. “Our third year of the supply drive Zan Monroe and his Realtor Association wanted to help, so they bought all of the book bags that year and have continued purchasing them every year since including this year.” Warren Jr. added that they want every child’s book bag to look alike.

There are plenty of other items needed, too. These include pens, pencils, notebooks, rulers, folders, composition books, notebook paper, pencil sharpeners, erasers, glue sticks, crayons, toothpaste, toothbrushes, toothbrush cases and hand sanitizer.

The goal this year is to collect items for 1,000 backpacks for students. “This year, due to Hurricane Matthew, we have 800 homeless students,” Warren Jr. said. “So this year we are doing an additional 200 backpacks for Hurricane Matthew victims. That makes it 1,000 backpacks, and it is kind of a stretch for us.” Warren added that he and other Register of Deeds employees have faith that the residents of Cumberland County will come through to help. 

School supplies can be dropped off at the Cumberland County Courthouse in room 114 by Aug. 1.  

Gift cards and monetary donations can be dropped off until Aug. 7. No checks, please.

“If you would like to drop something off at our office, please give us a call, and we will have someone to meet you in the parking lot to obtain the supplies or the donation,” Warren Jr. said. “This is something that really touched our hearts, and we have done (it) every  year since.”   For more information, call (910) 678-7775.

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