School Tools: Robeson County organizations need school supplies to help families impacted by Matthew


LUMBERTON, NC (WMBF) – WMBF News still needs your help to make our School Tools supply drive a success.

We’re collecting donations to help children in our communities be equipped with the tools needed to have a productive school year. Two organizations in Robeson County are working with WMBF News to make sure those children in need receive your donations.

When you have to deal with rebuilding your life after a flood, schools supplies can, unfortunately, fall to the bottom of the list.

Joanne Branch, marketing director for the United Way of Robeson County, said the organization continues to help families affected by Hurricane Matthew.

“We had thousands of individuals that was faced with the loss of their home and ended up staying in hotels, and from the first day after the hurricane, United Way was able to be in a unique position to help with their immediate needs,” Branch said. “I know now there are a lot of concerns about mold remediation, things that families are having to face that are great financial concerns. So yeah, school supplies are one of those items that become difficult for families to afford.”

Branch said the storm left businesses closed, leaving people without jobs.

United Way in Robeson County has a major push to collect school supplies to help area students. The group is hosting the Leap Back to Learning Community Event on Aug. 24 at the Twin Oaks Shopping Center in Lumberton.

The event will be held from 6 to 8 p.m. and will offers participants food, drinks, door prizes and a chance to win an ultimate school supply package for one Robeson County School.

To help collect donations, United Way is partnering with Communities in Schools, an agency that focuses on meeting the needs of children in the community. Dencie Lambin, executive director of the program, said they help provide community resources for children and their families.

“As you can imagine, school tools aren’t the necessity that a roof over your head, food, those sorts of things are. So, often times, families who live in poverty don’t have the resources to provide that to their children,” Lambin said.

She added the community’s support is needed to help students all year long and prevent educators from going into their own pockets.

“If we don’t step in to make those the connections for children it is left to school personnel and they’re stretched thin with budgets,” Lambin said.

For more information about Leap Back to Learning, click here.

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