Local Bank Collecting School Supplies for YMCA

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Children and volunteers check out at the end of the shopping trip  (Hannah S. Ostroff/WYDaily)
Children and volunteers check out at the end of the shopping trip last year. (Hannah S. Ostroff/WYDaily)

Two local organizations are working together to equip students for the next school year.

Chesapeake Bank and the R.F. Wilkinson Family YMCA’s Bright Beginning program are partnering to collect school supplies for area school children in need.

The bank will collect school supplies July 20 through Aug. 5 at its branches in Five Forks, Lightfoot and midtown Williamsburg. The collection drive is particularly in need of crayons, pencils, washable markers, scissors and notebook paper.

A complete list of needed items is available online.

Monetary donations will also be accepted, and Chesapeake Bank will match every dollar donated up to $500 for the drive. A $150 donation provides a year’s worth of clothing for one student.

“I am constantly impressed by the impact that our YMCAs have in the community,” Leigh Houghland, regional commercial loan officer for Chesapeake Bank and vice president of the Peninsula Metropolitan YMCA Board, said in a news release. “The Bright Beginnings program is a great example of this impact.”

The drive will be followed by the return of Bright Beginnings’s “Shopping Buddies” program in August. The YMCA plans a shopping trip for children to take with a volunteer. The students pick out a year’s worth of clothing and other necessities, and receive a backpack loaded with school supplies.

The YMCA works with school counselors in both Williamsburg-James City County Schools and the York County School Division to determine which students are in need. Twenty Chesapeake Bank employees volunteered as shopping buddies for the 2014 drive.

Bright Beginnings launched in 2003, and has helped more than 5,500 children in need since then. Chesapeake Bank set a goal of providing 60 local students in need with school supplies for the 2015-2016 school year.