Volunteer Ascension’s Chanie Mire grabbed four bags filled with paper towels, facial tissues and hand sanitizer from the trunk of Jennifer Bercegeay’s car.
It took several trips to unload Bercegeay’s trunk and back seat, both filled with supplies.
Throughout Friday, Mire and a few dozen volunteers repeated the process more than 100 times as people dropped off school supplies in the parking lot of Eatel Corp.’s Worthey Road office as part of the annual Volunteer Ascension School Tools Drive.
This year’s drive included a Corporate Challenge for businesses on Friday and Community Day on Saturday, at which residents dropped off crayons, pencils, paper and other classroom essentials.
On Monday and Tuesday, those supplies were sorted, counted and packaged for the trip to a local school.
The goal, Volunteer Ascension Executive Director Sherry Denig said, is to have the supplies waiting at schools when children arrive on the first day.
In many cases, Denig said, the supplies will be distributed before the first bell rings.
“We don’t want one child to go without needed school supplies,” Denig said as she darted from car to car unloading supplies and organizing volunteers on Friday.
San Francisco 49er and East Ascension High School football standout Glenn Dorsey aided in publicizing the drive’s Corporate Challenge. In a letter from Dorsey, businesses were encouraged to donate specific materials. For example, restaurants were asked to donate paper, notebooks and composition books, while hospitals, doctor’s offices and medical facilities were targeted to drop off hand sanitizer, tissues and paper towels.
Some businesses donated money, which was used to buy supplies not donated, Denig said.
Bercegeay, who works for Gonzales Healthcare, said her company was “happy to lend a hand.”
On Monday and Tuesday, volunteers joined Volunteer Ascension board members and staffers to organize a room filled with stacks and mounds of classroom supplies at Central Middle School.
Preliminary figures show that the drive collected more than $32,000 in supplies, Denig said.