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Indiana Toll Road collects school supplies for students in need

MISHAWAKA, Ind. --- The Indiana Toll Road hosted a back to school drive on Saturday, taking in donations from local grocery shoppers for students in need.

“We’re collecting school supplies for low economic schools all across northern Indiana,” Jordan Willsey said to a passing customer at Meijer grocery store in Mishawaka.

The school supplies that were collected on Saturday will eliminate the cost for teachers and families all over Michiana, according to a ITR spokesman.

“Every kid deserves a chance and so these tools they’re going to give these kids these chances,” said Willsey.

Willsey said the supplies will be sent to title one schools in seven counties – LaPorte, St. Joseph, Steuben, Porter, Lake, Elkhart, and LaGrange counties. Title one schools are schools with high numbers or high percentages of children from low-income families to help ensure that are children meet challenging state academic standards.

“We wanted to make sure that we really helped the people that that are really focused on getting these supplies into their schools,” said Dylan Souza, communications manager for ITR. “So that these children have the tools they need to succeed throughout school.”

So the group, made up of ITR, Sprenger Health Care, Rieth-Riley Construction, Indiana State Police, and Put the Phone Down safety campaign, rounded up some help from shoppers.

“My wife and I usually donate every year this is a different format for us to donate,” said Patrick Eagon, a Meijer shopper.

It was different, but it didn’t stop him from donating things like scientific calculators, flashdrives, combination locks, and much more.

“Anybody that has kids nowadays know that it takes a community to raise children,” Eagon said. “And I’m just trying to be a part of that community.”

According to Souza, without these supplies, teachers will $200 to $500 out of their pockets for their students during the school year.

“From this drive alone we’re trying to affect about five to six hundred kids,” Souza said. “I went ahead and purchased a thousand back packs in hopes to stuff all thousand backpacks and deliver them across all seven counties.”

The supplies collected today are getting sent to a list of schools in the seven counties mentioned above. If you would like to donate any items, you can take them to ITR’s office in Granger, 52551 Ash Road.

 

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