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Wednesday, August 5, 2015

Annual back-to-school drive in the Valley enters 9th year

J Cuts launches 9th Annual Book Bag & School Supply drive in the Valley.

Between now and Friday, Aug, 21, book bags and school supplies are being collected around the Valley.

Last year, over 100 book bags and an abundance of back to school supplies were collected.

This drive, originally started by the owners of Luther’s Garage, which is now closed, continues on an annual basis through Jennifer Sneider, owner of J Cuts, located at 505 Howe Ave., downtown Shelton.

J Cuts is the main collection location. Supplies may include book bags, book covers, rulers, pens, pencils, erasers, notebooks, binders, glue, crayons, calculators, pencil sharpeners, paper and folders. Supplies are collected for all school-aged children from pre-school to high school. All book bags and supplies must be brand new.

Donations can also be dropped off at Barb's Corner Consignment, 25 West Main St., Ansonia, Mon-Fri 10-3 and Sat 10-2.

“The outpouring of kindness within the community always warms my heart,” said Sneider in a release. “So many people stop by to drop off donations. Many of my customers do not hesitate to hand me five or ten dollars so I can pick up what we are falling short on. It is amazing how it
 all balances out for children in need!”

Minuteman Press, located at 427B Howe Ave. in Shelton, donated collection posters once again.

Last year, for the third year in a row, the Shelton Lion’s Club collected book bags and supplies during free summer concerts held Wednesday evenings from 7-9 p.m. on the Huntington Green.

In addition, Rehabilitation Associates, Inc., located at 1931 Blackrock Turnpike, Fairfield, and the First United Methodist Church in Shelton held their own collections last year to help make the drive a success.

As an added bonus last year, coordinators of the drive were contacted by Jackie Romaniuk, Dental Health Care Specialist with the Connecticut Dental Health Partnership (CTDHP), the dental plan for HUSKY Health. They provided oral kits each containing a tooth brush, toothpaste, floss and oral health education.

Other local businesses and organizations are invited and encouraged to join in by holding collections of their own to add to the donations.

Children receiving donations from the community drive last year are serviced by T.E.A.M., Inc.in Derby, along with the Boys and Girls Club of the Lower Naugatuck Valley, Shelton School Readiness Program and the Lower Naugatuck Valley Parent Resource Center, all in Shelton, and BHcare in Ansonia.

J Cuts is also the main collection location for the Annual Monkey Love Valentine Drive. The 10th Annual Drive will begin Jan. 1, 2016. Although this community drive officially kicks off on Jan. 1, donations are accepted at any time. For safety and allergy reasons, donations must be new, stuffed monkeys with tags.

The monkey drive benefits the same groups of children in need as the Back to School Book Bag & School Supply Drive.

For more information on either community drive, call Jennifer Sneider at J Cuts, 203-924-4107

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