SAFY brings back school supply drive

By Blythe Alspaugh - [email protected]

SIDNEY — A local agency is collecting school supplies for the foster families they serve for the second year in a row.

“It makes a huge difference because it gives youth a good start to what supplies they need for the following year. Its something to call theirs, and a lot of the time, we like to provide new school supplies even halfway through the year,” Sylvia Roop, foster parent recruiter for SAFY, said.

SAFY is a non-profit foster care agency that recruits, trains and licenses foster parents in the area. In addition to this, SAFY offers on-site mental health services to the children they place in foster homes, which includes trauma healing, parent skills building, school success mentoring, and teaching coping skills. SAFY’s Sidney location currently works with foster families in Shelby, Miami, Auglaize, Mercer, Logan, Champaign and Darke counties. Across these counties, roughly 31 families are served by SAFY — a number, Roop says, that is growing by the weeks.

There are currently 60 children that SAFY serves, and last year, enough supplies were donated to fill 60 backpacks to give to foster youth in the area. This year, SAFY is asking for donations of backpacks, crayons, markers, colored penciles, pens, pencils, erasers, scissors, glue, notebooks, loose leaf paper, binders, tabs, rules, calculators, tissues and Clorox wipes. These backpacks are designed to set children served by SAFY up for success by providing them with supplies they will use throughout the school year. It also helps take the weight off of foster parents shoulders as back-to-school time rolls around.

“The youth that come into foster care during the school year can receive a backpack because they often don’t get a chance to bring their own,” Roop said.

Currently, Roop said that SAFY has only been able to fill five backpacks of their 60 backpack goal. Anyone wishing to donate supplies to SAFY for the fund-raiser can drop supplies off in drop-off boxes at the following locations:

• Cowan Realtors, 889 Shawnee Road, Lima

• Dollar General, 495 S Washington St., New Bremen

• Tipp City Church of the Nazarene, 1221 W. Main St.

Donations can also be brought to the SAFY office at 1065 Fairington Drive in Sidney any time from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Roop added that if community members can’t donate to the school supplies donation drive, SAFY needs volunteers throughout the year. SAFY is currently looking for volunteers for an event for SAFY foster families on Aug. 16 from 5 to 8 p.m. They will also be holding an event from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Oct. 2 and need volunteers to assist then.

“Often, we rely on the community to help serve our families and youth the best we can,” Roop said.

To volunteer with SAFY or for more information, contact Roop at 937-407 0584.

By Blythe Alspaugh

[email protected]

Reach the writer at [email protected]

Reach the writer at [email protected]