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Thursday, July 7, 2011 03:46 am


July and weather that feels like summer may only have just arrived, but school is just around the corner. In preparation, community members are organizing a supply drive for students in Springfield, Pawnee and Auburn school districts to ensure that every student is ready to learn on the first day back at school.

Every year since 1993, the First Day Fund program has supplied about 1,500 Springfield students with school starter-packs. This year, however, demand is up, and the organization needs additional donations to meet its goal of 1,850 packs, says Rev. Dr. John Charlton III, First Day Fund director. Each pack costs about $20.

The group will hold a “Stuff-the-Bus” drive on July 23 and 24 from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. at Springfield’s South Sixth Street Wal-Mart. A volunteer packing day will be held on Thursday, July 28 at Bill Matthews Auto Body.

To contribute to the fund, send donations to “First Day Fund” at 2401 S. Ninth Street, Springfield, Ill., 62703.