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Donate school supplies at State Farm office

July 18, 2018
By MEGHAN McCOY ( , Lehigh Acres Citizen

A school supply drive is under way at Teresa Goodlad's State Farm office through July 25.

"We do this every year. We put up a box in our office and personally contribute school supplies. We don't give directly to the schools. We give what we collect to Lehigh Community Services," said agent Teresa Goodlad, whose office is located at 702 Leeland Heights Blvd. W.

So far, she said their clients have been good with their contributions.

Lehigh Community Services Executive Director Carolyn Peplow said some of the common supplies needed are 24-box of crayons; one subject notebooks wide rule; glue, or glue sticks; No. 2 pencils; pencil bags, or boxes; black and white composition books; black Expo markers for dry erase boards and highlighters.

Peplow said they researched all the Lehigh schools to put together a list of supplies for each grade.

"A group will pack the backpacks per grade right before the event," she said.

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Goodlad said she will purchase quite a few supplies after she sees what she believes the students still need.

She said they hold the annual drive because they have a lot of families in Lehigh Acres that struggle.

"When you've got several kids in schools it's a challenge for them. We feel privileged to be able to help them out," Goodlad said.

Peplow said all of the items collected will go towards their Back to School Backpack Event, which is scheduled for Saturday, July 28.

"I have extended the registration to July 20," she said of families in need of assistance with back to school supplies. "We extended those dates because we want to help lots of kids."

Lehigh Community Services is providing free backpacks and school supplies for K-12 students who are Lehigh residents. Registration can be done at Lehigh Community Services, 201 Plaza Drive, Suite 3 from 1 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. through Friday, July 20. Parents are asked to bring their child's birth certificate, or proof of guardianship/custody to register.

The Back to School event will take place from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m., Saturday, July 28, at New Life Assembly, 5146 Leonard Blvd.

Goodlad offers some advice for families purchasing school supplies for the upcoming school year. The first is to make a budget and stick to it.

"We deal with our customers all the time and that is one of the things we try to get them to do. Be thoughtful about their purchases and plan for them," she said. "What happens if you are purchasing those wants instead of needs all of the time? Very often they go on a credit card and before you know it you have a poor credit rating, which impacts so many things these days."

Goodlad said it is important to first focus on things that are needed before purchasing wants. She said those "wants" should be purchased after 10 percent of an individual's income is put into savings.

"Once you have done that and have your primary budget items, then you can buy those things that you want and don't necessarily need," Goodlad said.

She encourages families to make use of the Florida Back to School Sales Tax Holiday, Aug. 3, through Aug. 5.

"Tax Free Holiday is particularly important for people buying larger items like laptops for college students," Goodlad said.



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