TOOLS FOR SUCCESS

Whether they started the school year virtually or in the traditional classroom setting, more than 10,500 Martin County students began the school year with necessary supplies thanks to United Way of Martin County’s Tools for Success initiative. More than 260,000 supplies were lovingly assembled into supply kits to help students kick start the school year, saving local families over $83,000 in school supply costs.

Unlike last year, the pandemic made it more difficult to collect school supplies from traditional drop-off locations. As a result, United Way focused on a virtual drive, which allowed donors to safely and efficiently purchase items that were shipped directly to its office. The extensive volunteer effort was scaled down to comply with social distancing guidelines.

Thirty-eight individuals volunteered 316 hours sorting and assembling school supply kits that were delivered directly to the schools. Despite these obstacles, the Tools for Success program effectively provided supply kits to every single student in all 11 elementary schools in the Martin County School District as well as Title 1 middle schools, including Indiantown Middle School, Murray Middle School, and David L Anderson Middle School. Martin County’s four high schools were also provided with supplies for 600 kits to have on hand for students in need.

Thanks to a partnership with Publix Super Markets Tools for Schools program, starter kits were chock full of the most common school supplies, from No. 2 pencils to notebooks to safety scissors. Thanks to a grant from Hobe Sound Community Chest, Hobe Sound Elementary School received full supply kits for each student and additional supplies to have on hand.