GALION — As the first day of school nears, many families may face hardships. Trouble playing for needed school supplies is just one dilemma. To help take this burden off their shoulders, Brandy Bowser, owner of the This That and The Other shop in uptown Galion, started a school supply sponsorship program this year.
“If someone is interested in sponsoring a child they get a hold of me and I put their name on a list. If somebody needs help getting school supplies they reach out to me and let me know their child’s grade and if it’s a boy or girl. And then I will get with one of the people who were interested in sponsoring a child,” Bowser said. “I’ll say something like ‘I have a third-grade girl who needs supplies if you’re interested’ and they’ll tell me yes or no and then they will go out and buy the supplies on the list. Then they’ll bring those suppliesto the store and the family can come to the store to pick them up.”
Bowser said the supplies needed are those listed listed on the Galion City School’s website.
Bowser said people interested in being a sponsor, and those families who need supplies, can message her privately on This That and the Other’s Facebook page or call the store at 419-777-7198.
“I don’t need to know their child’s name or anything like that. It’s completely anonymous. he only person who will know is me,” Bowser said. “I don’t give out their information to anybody. I just need to know their grade and if it’s a boy or girl.”
Bowser said earlier this week that 14 children have been sponsored so far and she currently has one sponsor on the list who has not been matched up with a student.
“School supplies are something that weighs on my heart every year,” she said. “I found out when my son was in first grade there was a child in his class who didn’t have any school supplies, so I just went out and bought the school supplies (for that student). And then ever since then, I think about it every year … kids being in school with no supplies and having to borrow things from kids or the teacher feeling responsible to go out and buy the supplies. I know the teachers already do so much.
“I had this idea in my head and I just posted this online to see what kind of turnout we would end up with,” she said. “It seems to be going OK so far. I’d like to get the word out a little more and make this a yearly thing for everybody.”
Bowser said the deadline for sponsors to sign up — as well as families who need supplies to sign up — is Friday, August 14 as this will give sponsors enough time to shop for the supplies before the first day of school on August 20.
“But, if anyone needs help after that we would be more than happy to get them paired up,” she added.