The Student Stand Down supplied around 300 Lincoln County students with school supplies this year, and the Kootenai Kiwanis are already gathering donations for next year.
Kootenai Kiwanis president Pam Peppenger said that Koats for Kids — which had an early opening alongside the Stand Down on Aug. 20 — handed out over 200 pieces of winter wear, including 100 coats.
“Everything went wonderful,” Peppenger said.
Last year, the Stand Down helped to supply about 40 high schoolers. This year, they helped over 100.
For all grade levels, but especially the higher levels, supplying a student can get expensive, Peppenger said.
It’s not just pencils, pens and paper. Students need to have everything from ear buds to scientific calculators, and for families with multiple children and limited budgets, the cost climbs quickly.
That’s part of why the community outpouring of support has been so important, Peppenger said. The generosity of people donating to the Stand Down and coming to the garage sale fundraiser makes a big difference in the lives of Lincoln County students and their families.
Including family members there to assist students, she estimated that the gym at Asa Wood held as many as 400 people at times. Working one of the tables herself, Peppenger had to begin pre-assembling sets of supplies to help keep the line moving.
She admitted that as much as the volunteers enjoyed helping, they were glad to have the work behind them for this year.
Yet, even after dealing with all the organizing, preparation and chaos of the day, they are already hard at work getting ready to do it again.
Last Friday, the Kootenai Kiwanis accepted a donation of school supplies from Northern Power, and they are continuing to stock up. Peppenger said that they are still open to donation of both supplies and money for the school supply program.
Those donating can also receive a tax benefit, as the Kiwanis are a 501c3, she said.
But just because the Stand Down is finished for this year doesn’t mean the giving is, Peppenger said. If a student either missed the opportunity to get supplies or comes in the middle of the year and needs them, the Kiwanis can help them out.
More information about Kootenai Kiwanis can be found by searching “Kootenai Kiwanis” on Facebook.
Those interested in joining, donating or helping Kootenai Kiwanis can reach Peppenger at 406-334-1156.