Categories: Giveaways

Tillie’s Touch Prepares for School Supply Giveaway – Eagle News Online

VILLAGE OF EAST SYRACUSE: Tillie’s Touch will host its annual school supply giveaway in East Syracuse on Saturday, August 27th.
The summer event and its fun atmosphere is designed to help students start their school year off on the right foot, from 10 to 14 acres at Ellis Field Park on McCool Avenue.
Throughout the period, food will be served from the park’s concession stand while volunteers hand out grade-appropriate learning materials such as binders, one-inch notebooks, notebooks and pencils. There will also be face painting stations, kickball games and free haircuts for children in attendance.
Dale Johnson, the nonprofit’s founder, said members of the LeMoyne College men’s soccer team will be brought in to fill backpacks with supplies and then hand them out to an expected crowd of more than 800 kids.
“If a backpack full of new school supplies can get a kid excited about going to school, it’s worth it,” Johnson said. “And not just the first day, but the second and third day and every day after that.”
He said this drive, along with the support of dedicated teachers, will inspire students to excel academically.
“It also conveys the message that someone cares within the community — that there are people who care about their future,” Johnson said.
An ultimate goal of the organization is to help lift local children out of poverty by emphasizing their studies. According to Johnson, that path leads from high school graduation to higher education and continues as they pursue the paying careers they love.
Since this is the 12th year of the one-day drawing, Johnson said some high school students entering their senior year have gotten their free lots of supplies since kindergarten. Also, some recipients have passed items on to younger siblings or friends.
Starting this summer, Tillie’s Touch had more leftovers than expected from last year’s event, as this return to a car-free spread was met with a below-average turnout. According to Johnson, this was a direct reflection of COVID concerns and reduced use of materials due to the shift to virtual learning.
“This time a year ago we were coming out of COVID, but there were still a lot of people who were apprehensive about going to public places, so it definitely affected us a little bit,” he said.
Using Johnson’s oldest daughter’s middle name, Tillie’s Touch operates year-round as a youth program that provides sports equipment to families living in area school districts. The organization raises money to buy school supplies, usually with a goal of $10,000 in mind, through fundraisers like the bottle and can drive and its Aug. 6 paid volleyball tournament at Trappers II Pizza & Pub which was also sponsored by other companies. .
If belongings are lost as the year goes on, Tillie’s Touch is also stocked with replacements.
Raffle entries are at and additional donations of supplies, monetary assistance and gently used clothing are accepted.


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