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Drive underway to provide school supplies to local youngsters

Once again, kids are getting ready to go back to school.

In the past, Operation Helping Hand served families in our community by easing the financial hardship experienced by parents and caregivers as they attempted to get their children ready for school. After 20 years of gracious and selfless services, Operation Helping Hand is no longer in operation.

In 2009, we provided school supplies to 200 children, and we believe that 2010 will bring greater need.

This year, the Community United Methodist Church, partnering with Pagosa Outreach Connection Funders and the Department of Human Services, will serve to meet the needs of school children.

The list of supplies needed can be accessed at Many local churches are collecting supplies from their congregations; if you attend one of these churches you can make your donation there. Family Dollar and both City Markets will have collection boxes for donated supplies at their stores.

We are asking that any cash or monetary donations be made to the Community United Methodist Church Back to School Fund. The church is located at 434 Lewis Street, P.O. Box 300, Pagosa Springs, CO 81147.

We are asking that all contributions be made by Aug. 20, as we have scheduled the distribution for Aug. 25 at the Immaculate Heart Parish Hall on Lewis Street. Pickup will be from 1:30-5:30 p.m. Any leftover supplies will be forwarded to the schools for distribution throughout the school year.

Families can sign up to receive school supplies by coming to the Department of Human Services, 551 Hot Springs Blvd., or by calling 264-2921 to have your name put on a list.

Please note: Supplies have been purchased for every child entering kindergarten so families do not need to sign up for these students.