School supplies are cost prohibitive for many families, especially during tough economic times. In an effort to help the children of Yuma County who are most in need, Yuma Regional Medical Center created the Drive for School Supplies.
The Drive for School Supplies was established in 1999 and has continued as an annual community-wide effort involving community members, hospital staff and volunteers, businesses and service organizations. This annual program provides backpacks and school supplies for all grade levels to Yuma area schools including San Luis, Gadsden, Somerton, San Pasqual, Wellton and Dateland. Since its inception, the Drive for School Supplies has distributed 41,757 backpacks to school children in Yuma County. Last year (2015) the program donated 6,160 backpacks, costing approximately $13 each, to schools in Yuma County at a total cost of $80,080.
Each spring the Foundation of YRMC works with schools and organizations to estimate their needs for the upcoming year, as items requested in the backpacks vary from teacher-to-teacher and school-to-school. The Foundation then utilizes volunteers throughout the Yuma community during the months of May, June, July and early August to raise funds, acquire school supplies and fulfill backpack orders for students before they start school.
The Foundation of YRMC works to make this program possible each year by raising funds and school supply donations. Through partnerships with Hoppstetter's Office Products and Walgreens, the Foundation is able to keep costs low by purchasing all the needed school supplies at or below retail cost. Yuma Palms Regional Mall donates store space where the backpacks and supplies are assembled and distributed to the schools and DelOutdoor/Sign Pro provides billboards throughout the community to enhance awareness of the program and the need for donations.
For more information, or to donate to the Drive for School Supplies, call the Foundation of Yuma Regional Medical Center at 928.336.2445 or donate online by clicking here.