We are in the middle of Nevada’s school supply drive month.

Each year, primarily in July, those who work with students in need set out on a mission to collect school supplies for children for the coming school year.

Jodi Heeren, student and family development specialist with the Nevada School District, is one of those people. “I have been collecting supplies for students since I started working in the district. I have been here 20 years,” Heeren said. What has changed over the 20 years is the fact that collecting supplies is much more organized now. Heeren said it has to be, because the need has increased.

“We collect everything that is on the school supply lists per grade,” she said. Items that are frequently needed include spiral notebooks, folders, pencils, pens, crayons, glue, markers, erasers, Sharpies, dry erase markers, colored pencils, scissors and index cards.

Heeren said between 350 and 400 Nevada students are served by the annual school supplies drive. “It is a large number, and we are very happy to provide supplies to those who can’t afford it. It is rewarding seeing the students’ faces, filled with excitement, when they pick up their supplies,” she said.

Two anonymous parents made the following comments about the drive and how it helps them.

“I am a single mom and my job doesn’t pay very much. We are just trying to make it. I don’t know how I would afford school supplies,” said the first.

The second said, “We really appreciate the school supplies. The kids are so excited when school starts, and they love having the new supplies. We are so thankful.”

Heeren publicly thanks the following community organizations for taking on parts of the school supply drive: churches include, Memorial Lutheran, First United Methodist, St. Patrick’s Catholic, Family of Faith, Seventh-day Adventist and Cornerstone; along with Nevada Kiwanis, Golden K, Rotary, the Nevada Chamber of Commerce, DuPont, the Volunteer Center and others.

“We really appreciate all that the Nevada community does to help with the school supply drive. It is so helpful to our students and families. It is great to alleviate the stress that this creates for those facing financial hardships,” Heeren said.

For individuals and other groups who would like to contribute, Heeren said items can be left at the Nevada Chamber of Commerce office on Sixth Street.

Supplies are given to students at the start of the school year. “Teacher are very good at informing us if students need something,” Heeren said. She also commends the schools’ office staffs for doing a fabulous job of getting items to students as they need them.

The need doesn’t always end on the second day of school.

“As the year goes on, we help provide stuff to teachers and classrooms as it is needed, especially pencils,” Heeren said.