Wilton team collects school supplies for children in need

Tools for Schools (TFS) has been in full swing this month, collecting school supplies for children in need since Monday, Aug. 11.

After realizing how costly school supplies can be, Wilton moms Amanda Lord and Annette Sciarretta started TFS in 2008.

“We saw how much money we spend each year on our children’s school supplies and realized that some families might struggle to buy all things children need to succeed in school,” said Ms. Lord.

“We also saw how many supplies go unused by the end of the school year and we thought we could gather these items and donate them to needy children.”

Since the establishment of TFS, the two moms and their total of four children have been reaching out to the Wilton community for donations via school newsletters, email blasts to their friends and through social media, said Ms. Lord.

“We collect piles of donations, ranging from loose crayons to boxes of binders that would otherwise have been thrown away by local Fortune 500 companies,” said Ms. Lord.

“According to the Today Show, families will spend $670 this year on school supplies. Many families cannot afford to spend that much and therefore, children do not have what they need to succeed in the classroom.”

Until Saturday, Aug. 23, people can donate any unused or unwanted school supplies at the TFS drop-off box at the entrance of the Wilton Library Children’s Library during regular library hours.

After collecting the donations, the TFS team sorts and inspects all the supplies.

“The kids make sure that all the pens, markers and highlighters work and they sharpen all the pencils,” said Ms. Lord.

“They take the loose crayons and colored pencils and make little bundles with assorted colors that are given to elementary students.”

After sorting through the collections, Ms. Lord said, TFS gives the supplies to the Family & Children’s Agency, the Marvin School and Norwalk Department of Social Services, which then distribute the supplies to children.

“One of the groups that receives our donations told us that many students do not have backpacks and they carry their books in plastic shopping bags,” said Ms. Lord, “and generous teachers often spend their own money to buy supplies for their students.”

Through the TFS program, Ms. Lord said,  close to one thousand school supplies were collected last year, and approximately 10,000 since the program started four years ago.