Love INC planning for its annual Back to School program Aug. 1-3

Taylor Hippensteel (left) and her mother Kelly, both volunteers at Love INC, work to get supplies ready for the Back to School Shopping event. The program provides school clothing and a backpack for area youth and will be held Aug. 1-3. Photo by Andre B. Laird.

Originally published July 15, 2013.

With summer in full swing, few people think about the upcoming school year and all the preparation and financial resources required for a family with school-aged children.

Love INC, however, has been planning for the last few months in preparation for its annual Back to School program, which will be held Aug. 1-3.

The Back to School Shopping program provides three sets of outfits (pants, shirts and under garments) and a backpack to children in grades K-12.

Love INC Executive Director Joey Spiegel says planning for the event started in May.

"We have a team of about 20 volunteers that starts putting the logistics together in early May," Spiegel says. "They also help with sorting and calling families to register for the event. Registration ends on July 24."
He adds that parents and caretakers can also register with the Youth Services Bureau of Huntington County to receive school supplies. Registration is grade and class specific.

Jan Williams, executive director at the YSB, says the "Tools for Life" program started on July 1 and the aim is to provide school supplies for students prior to the start of the new year.

"There are no income requirements and we are currently taking names," she says. "We need the child's name, grade level and school, because the supplies we give out are specific to what the child will be using for the school year."

Spiegel says the Back to School program is in need of donations.

"Right now, we really need boys' pants, sizes four and up, as well as adult socks, male and female," he says. "We also take monetary donations that will be used to purchase supplies."

He adds that Love INC will be the beneficiary of a fund-raiser being held at Brick House Grill on July 23 from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m.

"All tips and some of the proceeds will go towards the program," Spiegel notes.

During the Back to School Shopping event, he adds that approximately 40 volunteers will be on hand to assist a large turnout, which usually consists of about 400 students each year.

The goal of the program Spiegel says is to start students off on the right foot.

"The focus is on helping students to start the school year with confidence," he says. "It's a great way for people to bless other families and community involvement from area churches and businesses is definitely needed to help do what we do."

The Back to School Shopping program will be held Aug. 1 and 2 from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Aug. 3 from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Registration for the event ends on July 24.

The event will be held next door to Love INC, in its Covered with Love store, 715 Byron St., Huntington.

The first day of classes for the Huntington County Community Schools is Aug. 14.