Since 1998, First United Methodist Church has been instrumental in sponsoring the Rogers County School Supply Program. FUMC along with the Claremore Area Ministerial Alliance, local churches, area businesses, and countless individuals have provided funds to give school supplies to Rogers County public school children who cannot afford to purchase the supplies themselves.
Children in grades from pre-k to 12th grade who need school supplies can register Monday through Friday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., August 1st to August 17th, 2018, in our Central Campus Children’s Center (at the back of the building, 1615 N. Highway 88). Friday, August 17, the program closes at noon.
In 2017 we provided school supplies to nearly 3,000 children at a cost of more than $40,000. Without the extreme generosity of our congregation, this drive could not happen year after year. Your donations help children start the school year off with the confidence they need to succeed. We need your help again this year. You may give online by clicking here and designating “School Supplies” for your donation.
Volunteers are needed weekdays July 31 through August 17. Shifts are 8:00 a.m. to noon and noon to 5:00 p.m. To volunteer click here and let us know what day and shift you would like to work. You may also sign up in Disciple Hall at Central Campus or call 918-341-4580. Sunday school classes and other small groups have been asked to provide lunch for volunteers during the registration period.
History of the Program
The Rogers County School Supply Program started in 1998 after an initiative was proclaimed by then Bishop Bruce Blake. Blake said that the local church should be more involved in their local communities by helping the those in need.
Church member Bill Burks, head of the church Finance Committee, took the challenge. He signed up children to receive free school supplies during the day, shopped for the supplies at night, and had families come back the next day to pick them up.
Today the program has grown to provide supplies to about 20% of Rogers County students, which is approximately the same percentage of Rogers County residents living below the poverty level.
The entire community is involved in raising the more than $40,000 necessary to purchase supplies each year. While the congregation of First United Methodist Church is the biggest contributor, the program would not succeed without the help other churches, community groups, businesses, and the Claremore Area Ministerial Alliance.
Volunteers spend hours pouring over bids to get the best prices, sorting supplies, gathering exactly what teachers request for each student, registering students, and handing out supplies when families come to pick them up. Everything is done by volunteers. None of the donations are used to pay staff.
Because of the limited funds, the supplies must be purchased at the best possible prices. Wal-Mart and Office Everything in Claremore match prices when they are able. Due to careful planning and shopping around, the cost per child dropped substantially in 2017.
Our records for the program go back to 2002. Between 2002 and 2017 the Rogers County School Supply Program has provided school supplies to more than 36,600 students students at a total cost of more than a half a million dollars.