RENO — The Reno-Sparks Chamber of Commerce monthly business mixer is a good place for members to network in a social setting. The event Thursday will still provide a networking opportunity but also will benefit the community.
The Salvation Army is hosting a barbecue for the July meeting and is asking chamber members to donate school supplies to help fill backpacks for students from low-income families. The Salvation Army’s back to school program is experiencing major growth this year in response to the economic challenges in the community. The number of targeted children will increase from the past assistance level of 100 students in 2009 and 256 students in 2010 to a total of 500 students in 2011. The expanded program also will include middle school and high school students, compared to the previous 6 to 12 years age range served by this program.
Counselors from several local schools will identify and select needy students, plus provide the specific school supply list for each child. The first of four distributions will be held on Friday for two elementary schools that operate on non-traditional tracks. The other three are scheduled in later this summer for the balance of eligible students.
Each student will receive a new backpack of school supplies, new items of clothing (socks, underwear, etc.), hygiene items, snacks for school, a voucher to The Salvation Army thrift store for additional clothing and a gift certificate to a local store to purchase shoes.
A list of school supply drop-off locations throughout the community will soon be available and organizers are looking for more businesses to participate.
Funding also is needed to support the expanded program. Anyone wishing to donate can call The Salvation Army at 688-4555 ext. 200 or mail a check payable to The Salvation Army with “Back to School” on the memo line. Sponsorships are $75 per child, however, any donation would be appreciated.