ACT begins back-to-school donation drive
A local not-for-profit agency is hosting a donation drive for school supplies and clothing.
Abuse Counseling and Treatment Inc. is asking the public for back-to-school donations for children served by its domestic violence and sexual assault centers in Cape Coral, Fort Myers and Labelle.
“Every year, we try to collect donations for the kids that are going back to school,” Stacey Simonson, the children’s program coordinator for ACT, said. “We want to start them off on the right foot.”
“It’s kind of to give them a sense of normalcy,” she added.
Simonson explained that the children being served are residents in its shelter.
“They’ve been in domestic violence situations, or sexual assault or human trafficking situations,” she said. “All the children in our shelter have witnessed or been a victim of some abuse in their home.”
Usually, the agency tries to collect enough back-to-school donations for about 50 children before the start of school. With the recent opening of its Labelle center, however, it is hoping to collect more.
“We have more of a need this year,” Simonson said.
Needed school supplies include backpacks, paper, pens and pencils, lunchboxes and such. As for clothing, school uniforms, shoes and undergarments – socks and underwear – in any size works.
“Our (children’s) ages vary from 5 to 17,” she said.
Simonson noted that new clothing and accessories are ideal.
“We try to make sure it’s new items for the kids to start the school year with,” she said.
“But everything helps, obviously,” Simonson added.
People are also welcome to donate gift cards to local stores.
“They can absolutely do that, as well,” she said.
ACT would like to receive all donations by Aug. 1 – in time for the first day of school.
People can also “adopt” a specific child to shop for by contacting Simonson.
“They can call me, and we can discuss that more in detail,” she said.
Donations can be dropped off at the Second ACT Thrift Store, at 2519 S Cleveland Ave., Fort Myers. They can also be dropped of at the Fort Myers site; for the address, call Simonson at 239-939-3112.
Gift cards can be mailed to Attn: Stacey Simonson/Children’s Program, P.O. Box 60401, Fort Myers, FL 33906.
For more information, call 239-939-3112 or visit: www.actabuse.com/.