Guest Bloggers – Annual Wagon Drive

I love that Franklin-Randall kids are so aware of ways to make a different in their community! The Wagon Drive is a tradition for the Franklin-Randall kids. Two Franklin-Randall kids are guest bloggers on the subject today.

Samara and Lily wrIte:
“Every year families in the Madison School District must choose between buying food or school supplies. After learning that some of our classmates would without these, the Bay Creek neighborhood kids want to help. The annual wagon drive collects food and school supplies before wheeling the food to the St. Marks Lutheran Church Food Pantry. The school supplies are handed out to kids at Lincoln, Franklin and Randall that need the supplies. This year we decided to collect for TEP (Transition Education Program. Randall kids have already been involved with helping TEP. Read about that here) too.”

And then there is what Mom has to add….

Details on the drive:

The 4th Annual Wagon Drive will be held Saturday, August 4th from 9 to 2, in front of Franklin School on West Lakeside St on Madison’s south side. Rain date is Sunday. Neighborhood kids are collecting school supplies and food donations. They will also be hosting a free will donation bake sale and lemonade stand. The school supplies will be given to the Madison School District’s Transition Education Program (TEP) and to kids in need that attend Lincoln, Randall, and Franklin schools. All the food collected will be given the St. Mark’s Lutheran Church Food Pantry. Any money collected from the bake sale and lemonade stand will be used to purchase school supplies.

Why do we do it? The history.

My daughter Lily heard our pastor mention how heavy hit the pantry is in September, even more so than the holidays, because families need to spend money on school supplies and fees. She asked me if we could take our wagon and walk the neighborhood asking for food. My response was, heck no, that’s too much work, how about making people come to us? So she asked some friends for help, and asked a neighbor that lived on busy street if we could use her lawn. The kids handed out flyers, lined up their wagons, and shouted at cars. It was beautiful  We held two drives the first year and it was a blast so the kids decided to make it an annual event. Our neighbor spruced up her lawn, so we moved down the block to Franklin School.

I think the three kids that actively run the drive have their own reasons for doing it. One kid mentioned how she loved school shopping and just couldn’t fathom the sadness and embarrassment of not having supplies. My kid doesn’t like it that a choice has to be made between food and school. The other quietly cares, and thinks it is wrong to not have basic needs for school. Me as a mother is very very proud and am glad to support it. Plus, I wish I did something like this as a kid. I consider it my second chance and being a good kid.

We have the bake sale and lemonade stand because kids just love having one. Plus, they love shopping for supplies when we don’t get or enough of a certain supply. We buy hundreds of folders or boxes of markers at one time so people look. They get all proud when a person asks what they are doing. They are very frugal shoppers too. I get a kick out of how they try to find the best price. Too funny, because I don’t think they do it normally.

What we  need:

We will take any new and gently used school supplies including but not limited to backpacks, wide ruled note books (do not need college ruled), composition note books, glue, glue stick, tape (all kinds), markers, and folders.

According to TEP, what is needed most now is listed below. This will be our first year (and not last) collecting for TEP, so all but the backpacks and pencil cases are new to our list.

Hygiene Supplies
Alarm Clocks with Batteries
Fist Aid Kits & or supplies
Dictionaries & Thesauruses
Multiplication Flash-Cards
Pencil Cases

For the group of kids we are helping at Franklin (12 kids), Randall (9 kids), and Lincoln we take anything that would be found on the elementary school list. Looking at last year’s list, the least donated items were. We do give some supplies to Stephens Elementary too because on of our volunteers is a teacher there. Her kids though go to Franklin and Randall.

Pencil cases (hard plastic and cloth)
Composition note books-black only Lincoln uses these exclusively
dry erase markers
hand sanitizer
disinfectant wipes

All food should be non-perishable and canned fruit is high on the list of need this week.


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