We held our annual Back-To-School Project this August and September 2010. This is a direct pass-through project where we collect money and school supplies from donors, primarily in the CNMI Bar Association, and then distribute everything in the form of school supplies to students in grades 1 through 12.
The good news for SY 2010-11 is that we collected $1190 in cash donations and approximately $915 in in-kind donations. (I say approximately because we estimate the value of the donations and don't have exact value for all items contributed.)
We distributed 77 book bags with supplies--binder, filler paper, folder, notebook, pencil case with pens, pencils, erasers and pencil sharpeners--and then depending on the grade, some additional components: the elementary add-ons (construction paper, glue, scissors, crayons, fancy pencils); the middle school add-ons (graph paper, compass, protracter, art eraser, scotch tape or index cards); the high school complement (white paper, art eraser, highlighter, white-out tape or fluid).
We also distributed all in-kind donations, so each book-bag recipient received a unique donation.
In addition to the 77 book bags with supplies, we gave out 24 small kits--containing 2 notebooks, a pack of 10 pencils and a box of crayons each. These kits were all identical (except for the colors of the notebooks) and were made possible by an in-kind donation after school started that helped us reach students on our list when we had run out of money and other supplies.
We were not very successful in reaching out to Tinian and Rota--distributing only 11 book bags with supplies to these islands' students, despite our efforts. We are happy that we did get something to each island, however.
We received less in overall cash and supplies this year than in 2009, perhaps reflecting the economic realities here; but interestingly enough, these donations came from more people than who donated in 2009--so generally the donations were smaller, but more people were reaching into their pockets to help our students.
And we really appreciate it.
There were many happy smiles on the recipients faces; and honesty, too. One recipient kept the school supplies that were needed for her children but said someone else had donated book bags to her, so she gave back the new ones we were going to give her back and then we gave them to two other kids who were not otherwise going to get backpacks this year.
All in all, this was another successful event. Thanks to everyone who helped.