Third Annual KPLC Back to School Drive today

Updated: Jul. 26, 2019 at 11:30 AM CDT
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LAKE CHARLES, La. (KPLC) - Students, parents, and teachers are getting ready to head back to school but for some families, it’s a struggle to afford the most basic school supplies.

On Friday, July 26, the community helped families in need send their children back to school with new school supplies. The final count showed the community donated 5,864 items and thousands of dollars.

KPLC is again joined forces with DeWanna’s Closet and Wendy’s in helping children show up for school ready to learn. This will be the third year that KPLC has partnered with DeWanna Tarver, owner of DeWanna’s Closet, for the event.

Click here to learn more about DeWanna’s Closet.

From pencils to notebooks, even uniforms - you can find all the items that teachers and parents typically buy for their students at DeWanna’s Closet. Thanks to donations from the community, parents and educators are able to receive supplies free of charge.

“All of these clothes, all of these supplies what all this goes back to is that child sitting in a classroom listening to a teacher who loves them and is wanting to pour into them what they need to learn to be successful,” said Tarver.

However, the annual supply drive is just one part of a bigger mission.

“We have things waiting in the schools when schools starts so that families don’t have to buy them so teachers don’t have to buy them,"said Tarver. "What we do with supplies that come in with supply drives like KPLC is, we’re reactive. The day school starts we open up our Facebook page for teachers to tell us what their students don’t show up with.”

What was once a side job for Tarver has now become a full-time gig with truly no days off but if you ask her, she wouldn’t have it any other way.

“We want to be here every week. The wonderful people that work with me, they’re retired educators and they are people that meet this need every day. For them to be able now to work and meet this need for other teachers is really unique."

Last year, in just over 12 hours, DeWanna’s Closet had over 5,200 new school supplies and uniforms along with $350 dollars in cash donations from the school supply drive.

That generosity came from people of all ages, coming together for the students of Calcasieu Parish.

Suggested donations include:

  • Notebook paper
  • Pens
  • #2 Pencils
  • Crayons
  • Glue sticks
  • Rulers
  • Notebooks
  • 3 ring binders
  • Scissors
  • Backpacks
  • Uniforms
  • Sanitary Napkins
  • Socks & Undergarments for toddlers
  • Tissue paper
  • Napkins
  • Big erasers
  • Highlighters
  • Folders
  • Monetary donations

You can also visit the DeWanna’s Closet Facebook page, where you’ll find links and posts where some of the educators are posting their individual needs.

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