Editorial: Summer can be costly

Summer is viewed and often experienced as a carefree time of year. But, summer is often a costly time of year for many families with two working parents.

Aside from camps, vacations, and other forms of entertainment for kids this time of year, getting ready to go back to school can be a expensive adventure.  For families facing economic struggles, the simple need to restock school supplies — something many of us might just take for granted — can be a burden. This is especially true if more than one child is involved. The expenses go up as children get older.

To that end, if we don’t face those kinds of struggles, there are several options for us to give back to families in need of school supplies. The town’s Social Services Department and the Wilton unit of the Salvation Army are in the process of collecting gift cards to help out client families.

Last year, Social Services helped send about 75 Wilton children back to school with the supplies they needed. Gift cards to stores that sell office supplies like Staples and Walmart — as well as non-refundable prepaid gift cards like Visa gift cards — can be dropped off this month at the Wilton Social Services office in Comstock Community Center at 180 School Road.

Families served by Wilton Social Services will receive the cards in late August and have time to shop for supplies before the first day of school, which is Tuesday, Sept. 4.

The Salvation Army provides Social Services with Payless gift cards to give to clients so they can purchase shoes, and Our Lady of Fatima and Wilton Congregational churches supply backpacks and gift cards.

A quick Google search will provide numerous opportunities in Fairfield County and beyond to donate school supplies.

Another option, if we have the means, is when buying supplies for our own students, to buy some extra to donate to the classroom well. An extra glue stick, pack of pencils, or in the case of younger students, crayons, are never going to go to waste in a classroom closet.

The first day of school is always an exciting time but can also be intimidating socially as children acclimate to friends and peer groups. Having them confidently equipped with the right school supplies is a great start.

It is only the second day of August, but now is the time to think about those who might be in need in a month.

In the meantime, enjoy the last weeks of summer.