MASON COUNTY — For the most part, members of the Mason County EMS come to the aid of people only after being called upon, but with their new motto of “Our Family Helping Yours,” they are going above and beyond for those returning to school this month.
The EMS is hosting a “Fill the Ambulance with School Supplies” drive that will benefit every school in the county. Collected will be more nontraditional items that are normally purchased by the teachers themselves, or requested by teachers from the parents.
Elisabeth Lloyd, EMS Community Involvement Coordinator, said no one asks the EMS to supply their own items necessary to care for the patients, so teachers shouldn’t have to provide their own supplies for the classroom either.
“The main reason I love this project is because I want teachers to be able to only worry about loving and supporting these kids, especially the ones who are dealing with trauma at home,” she said. “Teachers should not have to worry about how they are going to pay for the stuff they need for their classroom.”
Members are asking the public to purchase and donate disinfecting wipes, baby wipes, band aids, ice packs, tissues, dry erase markers, zip lock bags, hand sanitizer, and personal hygiene items. Backpacks, pencils and 3-ring binders are also requested, as well as other school supplies.
According to Jessica Kapp, EMT, these are the items most requested by the teachers they polled. Kapp initiated the back-to-school project.
The EMS asked Dollar General Stores throughout the county to partner with them and serve as collection points. The items collected at each store will go to the school or schools in those service areas. For example, items collected at the Mason Dollar General location will go to New Haven Elementary and Wahama High School.
The lone store not participating is the New Haven location, which is already collecting items for the Town of New Haven’s Back-to-School Bash on Aug. 13 from 6 to 8 p.m.
Also serving as drop off points are the EMS stations. They include Station 100 at 911 Emergency Drive in Point Pleasant, Station 200 at 28965 Huntington Road in Apple Grove, and Station 500 at 331 Anderson Street in Mason.
EMS Director Dennis Zimmerman added since there is no station in the Leon area, a collection box has been placed at the Leon Post Office. Lloyd said members will try hard to make sure the outlying areas get their share of supplies, since the Point Pleasant station services the Leon and Roosevelt school areas.
The supplies will be collected until mid-September when they will be delivered to the schools. For more information, call Lloyd at 304-675-6134.
Mindy Kearns is a freelance writer for Ohio Valley Publishing, email her at email@example.com.