BELOIT - Central Christian Church will be offering another alternative for families needing help with school supplies - the Little Red Wagon back-to-school store. To give a hand up and to preserve the dignity of parents, the church will be giving out supplies in exchange for $5 in cash.
The Little Red Wagon school store program will kick off at noon on Aug. 12 at the Beloit Culver's parking lot, 2676 Cranston Road. A trailer will be on site where people can shop for the supplies, according to Deby Clark, family life team director and pastor's wife at Central Christian Church.
"The back-to-school store will go from noon - 4 p.m., or until they run out of product. It gets more and more popular every year," Clark said.
Clark said parents, especially dads, prefer having to pay the $5 for supplies as opposed to getting them for free.
"It's upholding the dignity of customers. All of the money given for the backpacks is put back into the program and parents actually become partners with us in making sure children go to school with the right supplies and a new backpack," Clark said.
Those who want to donate to the program can drop off donations at barrels set up at the church or at Culver's. Pencils, sharpeners, pens, erasers scissors, spiral notebooks, glue sticks, highlighters and backpacks are being sought. All supplies must be new.
Clark noted that Culver's will be offering $2.99 kids meals on the day of the event, Aug. 12. One of her favorite parts of the event are seeing kids check out their school supplies across the table from their parents at Culver's.
"A lot of these kids haven't had a new backpack. It's a really special time for the families and it is fun to watch them interacting," Clark said.
In addition to the Little Red Wagon back to school store, there will be a variety of other school supply drives, giveaways and other events in Beloit.
Beloit Area Community Health Center will be offering free school supplies and affordable physicals from 4-8 p.m on Wednesday, July 26 and Wednesday, Aug. 23., at its Back to School Night, open to all the community's children. It will be held at the Eclipse Center location, 74 Eclipse Center, Beloit.
Each child will have access to school sports physicals or dental check-ups, covered by Medicaid or for the low flat fee of $25 per person.
Additionally, each participant will receive a backpack with school supplies, while they last, and will be entered into raffles for prizes like bikes and water park passes.