CPMC Conducts Successful School Supply Drive

August 2, 2011

As children from Morgan County head back to their first full week of school this week, some of them will be able to meet the new academic challenges due to the generosity of community caretakers.  Employees of Colorado Plains Medical Center held their sixth annual school supply drive for Morgan County public school districts last week.  Fifty seven backpacks filled with needed school supplies were presented last week to Fort Morgan School District Superintendent, Greg Wagers, and his staff.

“We are extremely grateful for the supplies.  We have already had several school principals calling the district office to see if there might be some extra supplies for children who couldn’t afford to purchase their own,” commented Wagers.

Although several drives were held this year in the Front Range, organized school supply drives were limited in rural areas, including Morgan County.  Wagers noted that he was aware of few organizations this year that were able to help.  One Denver news channel, Fox31, reported that school supply costs average $75.00 a child, making it impossible for families with several children to be adequately prepared for the new school year.   The Huntington Bank Annual Backpack Index Survey claimed that costs for school supplies for an elementary aged child rose to $56.  Costs are even higher for middle school and high school students averaging $136 and $91 per individual respectively.  “This gesture, on behalf of the CPMC staff, is highly appreciated,” added Wagers.

Brush, Wiggins, and Weldon Valley schools were also recipients of backpacks and supplies.

The drive is entirely voluntary and is conducted by employees.  In fact, the service project was selected by the American Hospital Association editorial staff to be included in the 6th Edition of Community Connections:  Ideas and Innovations for Hospital Leaders, which emphasized what hospitals throughout the United States are doing to meet their community’s social and basic needs, promoting community health, improving access and coverage and enhancing the quality of life for the people they serve.

“It shows that we care for the community, not only when they are patients seeking care, but outside the doors of our facility.  Although we did not reach our goal of 125 filled backpacks, I know we did make a difference,” remarked Jennifer Schwindt, CPMC Rehabilitation Services Supervisor and chair of the committee who conducted the drive.  “I was delivering the backpacks to the Brush schools and there was a little girl patiently waiting at Thomson School to pick out her backpack.  She was so excited that she was going to get to choose from the pile of brightly colored bags and kept asking me if she really was able to keep it (the backpack).  This is how powerful a small act of kindness can be.”