Kicking off school with needed supplies

–by Mary Helen Darah

Normally the United Way kicks off its campaign season by gathering over 1,000 of its closest friends to assemble 5,000 backpacks for local students in just over an hour. This year, school kits were assembled in small groups of 6-8 people, working in different rooms, in 1.5-hour shifts spread over two days. With the generosity of sponsors Dana and JFS, as well as 75 volunteers, 4,000 back-to-school kits were assembled. School kits have been distributed to Toledo Public Schools, the Salvation Army, Lucas County Children Services, Kinship Navigator and locally to Sylvania Area Family Services (SAFS). SAFS Executive Director Dottie Segur was part of the corps of volunteers assembling kits on July 27 at the United Way of Greater Toledo. She was honored to help. “For over 20 years, SAFS has had the privilege of giving our local youth a Back-2-School carnival-style party that the kids look forward to every summer. We are so saddened that we will not be able to do that for them this year. We will miss seeing the laughter and excitement on their faces. Students, parents, and teachers are all preparing for a unique school year with the challenges brought on by COVID-19. One thing we know for certain is that students need supplies to support their learning, whether in the classroom or at home. So many family budgets are stretched so thin that they can’t afford the basic school supplies,” stated Segur.

Due to COVID-19, Sylvania Area Family Services Annual Back-2-School supply event will look a little bit different this year. School supplies will be distributed via a drive-thru system. In partnership with the United Way of Greater Toledo, SAFS will be distributing school supply kits to support Sylvania students Aug. 10-12. Pre-registration is required. United Way of Greater Toledo Manager of Donor Communications and Engagement Jennifer Archer encourages those interested to get involved and volunteer. “It is very rewarding to see the tremendous impact that even a couple of hours of time can do for your community,” she stated. Visit or email To register a Sylvania School District student for school supplies visit

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