Alex Szendrey, 8, of Langley tried out a backpack at the Gateway of Hope on Thursday as school supplies were being distributed for the new year. More than 300 bags of school supplies, donated or purchased with donated cash, were handed out to returning students.

More than 300 kids set for school thanks to donors and businesses

Gateway of Hope program sent kids to school with brand new supplies to start the school year

The community and local businesses came together to help make sure every student in Langley went to school this week with all the right supplies to begin a new year of learning.

More than 310 bags of school supplies were distributed last Thursday at the Salvation Army’s Gateway of Hope.

Andrea Voss, family services co-ordinator at the Gateway of Hope, was thrilled with the amount of donations that came in because demand was high this year.

“School supplies are very expensive and if you have a family of two, that can be too costly,” she said. Voss was able to purchase many of the supplies through cash donations.

To supply one elementary school student it costs an average of $50 to $75 and that is at cost, “not what parents are paying,” she said.

Craftsman Collision donated 300 bags to carry the school supplies. Cummins Langley held an interoffice supply drive. Staples Langley played a big role again this year making sure students in need were well stocked for the school year, said Voss.

The owner of Langley Staples approached other companies for monetary donations and the store served as a hub for the school supply drive, accepting customer donations.

For the supplies that weren’t covered by the fundraiser, Staples Langley covered the remaining balance.

Starbucks Langley also took in school supplies on behalf of Salvation Army.

More families than ever are coming to the Salvation Army in need as the cost of living rises and wages do not, said Voss. To that end, Gateway of Hope is partnering with Langley’s Craftsman Collision for a food drive in October to help  Langley families.

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