Do they really need all this?

That was usually my reaction when I looked at my kids’ school supply lists.

Hunting for their supplies always seemed like a daunting task. I could never find everything at the same store.

I was fortunate that a couple of schools my kids attended had supply packets you could purchase.

That made things a little easier.

But it was never easy on my wallet.

I was a single parent living on a sports writer’s salary. We made ends meet, but there were times when we struggled.

That’s why I never entirely looked forward to the beginning of the school year.

I thought about my experience this week as the annual school supply drive winds down.

I always had enough money to take care of my children’s needs. I do wonder about some of the parents in our community.

During the Socorro Consolidated Schools’ four-day school week debate, people mentioned statistics that stated as many as 40 percent of children in Socorro live below the poverty line.

I don’t know for sure if it’s that high. But I wouldn’t be surprised.

And I know single parents living from paycheck to paycheck have a hard time.

So consider this a personal appeal.

If you’ve been blessed with abundance, pass some on to those in need.

Volunteers will be collecting school supplies in front of Walmart from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. this Saturday. We’re also collecting monetary donations to purchase supplies for students as well as teachers.

Teachers are also in need this time of year. Due to budget cuts over the years in education, they usually pay out of pocket for a lot of their supplies.

A few teachers told us in previous years they spend as much as $1,000 a year for supplies. Some even spend more than that.

And while the recent tax reform package passed by Congress helps some people, teachers were dealt a blow. They can no longer count the purchase of school supplies as a tax deduction.

Donating monetarily or purchasing supplies are ways you can lift a burden.

If you aren’t planning on making a trip to Walmart this Saturday, you can still drop off supplies or monetary donations at our office, First State Bank, the Socorro County Sheriff’s Office or the Socorro County Community Alternatives Office.

They – along with State Rep. Gail Armstrong – are our partners in this drive.

Supplies are to be distributed to children and families on Tuesday. Last year, some of our partners delivered supplies to teachers at individual schools.

I hope we can do that again this year.

Our goal is to provide school supplies for kids at Socorro Consolidated Schools, Magdalena Municipal Schools and Alamo Navajo School.

We also want to help teachers in all three systems.

Even if you don’t have children or grandchildren in any of our three local systems, consider this a chance to invest in the future of our Socorro County communities.

And if you choose to help, I will be personally grateful.