Community gathers for Meridian School District’s Support Supply Drive

Meridian School District collected clothes, food, hygiene products and more at Saturday's supply drive.
Published: Mar. 18, 2023 at 8:39 PM CDT
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ROCKFORD, Ill. (WIFR) - Residents within one local school district see a need for change after learning counselors help support students from their own pockets.

With help from parents and teachers, the community filled four large boxes with endless products that will allow counselors to care for the entire student body regardless of their circumstance.

“Counselors in the school district or teachers, we sometimes spend our own money or provide certain things for students, whether it be hygiene products or clothing,” said Meridian Junior High School counselor Rob Wissinger.

Families gather at Double-O Saloon in Monroe Center on Saturday for face paint, Bozo Buckets, live music and most importantly to donate items to the Meridian School District.

“These donations are really going to go a long way to help us in all of the buildings to be able to provide those supplies to the students,” Wissinger said.

Wissinger says counselors throughout the district created a list of the items they use the most. The donations are then divided up based on the need of each school.

“There’s a large proportion of students that go without things on a daily basis, and so as counselors, or teachers or community members, it’s really nice to be able to step up and help those students when they’re in need,” Wissinger said.

Thanks to the Stillman Valley chess team, the supply drive was a success. Players helped organize the event and encouraged donations. Chess coach Phil Bratta says an event like this is an opportunity for his players to serve the community.

“They do volunteer hours all the time and this seemed to be a good venue and a good activity for our kids and help them to make them aware them aware that there are kids in need,” Bratta said.

Bratta says anyone who is struggling shouldn’t be afraid to ask for help and the community is always willing to lend a helping hand.

“We need to spread more kindness and sharing and letting people know that we care,” Bratta said. “Let someone know you care and that you’re willing to help them.”

Leaders hope the school drive will help students have a successful school year without the stress of wondering what they’re going to wear or what supplies they’re missing.

This was the first year hosting the drive but organizers say they hope to make it an annual event.