How We Do It

Prepare for Success has become a year round activity that focuses on distributing school supplies prior to the upcoming school year. The process ends the week before school starts. At that time the supplies have all been distributed. At that stage school personnel are in charge of providing the supplies to the students in need of support. While August is the end, it all starts up again in September.

Some of our hardest workers are the students with special needs at the Cedar Lane School in Fulton. The school is a one of a kind learning environment where the motto is “learning is for everyone”. In September PFS delivers a bulk order of elementary school supplies that are purchased with monetary donations, as well as some of our August collections. The students as part of their work skills development pack about 900 elementary school backpacks. This continues throughout the school year.

In April work begins on the upcoming supplies collection cycle. The students at the Columbia Association Before and After School program kindly decorate the collections boxes. Each year they seem to make them even brighter and more original.

May is PFS once a year fundraising. Our annual “ask” letters go out to individuals and businesses. We are always gratified with the generosity of our community.
In July some of the money we’ve collected is used to make a bulk purchase of middle and high school supplies. Also, right after July 4th the decorated collection boxes are placed throughout the community. Locations include all libraries, county recreation centers, Columbia Village Association offices, and selected CA facilities. We also on request supply some to local businesses.

In August everything comes together in the last two weeks of the month. It is then that the community volunteers kick into high gear. The men from Phi Kappa Alpha fraternity collect all the donation boxes and bring them to our HCPSS supplied space at Old Bushy Park Elementary School. At the same time we have received our recent bulk supply purchase. The Reservoir Girls Soccer Team, for the past number of years, rebox the bulk supplies into the orders for the target middle and high schools. A few days later the River Hill Boys Soccer Team help move the boxes and load them onto the Community Action Food Bank truck for delivery. All the while dozens of volunteers – retired couples, (grand)mothers with (grand)children, church groups, students seeking community credit, and more are on hand to sort, pack, count, and move a mountain of supplies.

September arrives and the cycle restarts ….