Education, Springfield

Back-to-school drive underway; 177 children need supplies

If you’ve got extra stacks of old high school supplies and a soft heart for helping others in the community, a back-to-school drive is underway that will benefit nearly 200 impoverished students in our area.  

The Catholic Community Services (CCS) of Lane County’s 2023 Back to School Drive will finish at the end of the month. The drive will help 177 impoverished children in the Springfield, Eugene 4J, and Bethel school districts.

There is no certain pressing need or supply, but rather all supplies a child would need for school. Some items from the lengthy list include #2 pencils, crayons, notebooks, loose-leaf paper, index cards, backpacks, and more. For the full list go to

There will be seven barrel-drop locations to donate school supplies. The locations include:

• CCS Springfield Community Service Center (Springfield) 

• St. Alice Catholic Church (Springfield) 

• Emerald Community Fellowship (Eugene)

• Wesley United Methodist Church (Eugene)

• St. Jude Catholic Church (Eugene)

• St. Mary Catholic Church (Eugene)

• CCS Eugene Community Service Center (Eugene)

“It’ll have a major impact. A lot of the people that we serve may not even have a home, so these are very essential needs for all the children we serve — especially those who might be living out of their car currently until such time we can assist them with any housing,” according to Barb Roos-Franklin, who is part of the development department of the CCS. “We serve a wide variety of children, anybody in the community that has needs can come to us.”

CCS enrolls children and families in a variety of supportive services programs including the Family Support & Connections program, the Housing Stabilization Program, the McKenzie Rapid Rehousing program, the Strengthening, Preserving & Reuniting Families program, and the OASIS program for families experiencing homelessness in Springfield. Thirty-three of the 177 children are enrolled in the OASIS program.

“There are parents that will break down in tears when they receive school supplies for their children because without us helping to provide for them, they wouldn’t be able to send their kids to school with what was needed,” Roos-Franklin said. “And many mothers are just so grateful that we are here to serve them.”

The number of community members the CCS is helping is growing year after year, which is evident through food boxes that are given out annually. The number of families and children “has significantly, significantly increased. That’s just due to the fact that inflation is on the rise. Everything you buy at the store, the price has increased. That makes a major impact on the families we serve,” said Roos-Franklin.

She explained the expectations of this year’s Back to School Drive compared to previous years. “We absolutely do expect to exceed those (previous) numbers. Dylan Nicholls (communication coordinator of the CCS) and I are both new and we are revamping everything and we’ve got more participation this year than we did in the last year. So we only expect it to improve.”

Roos-Franklin had a final message for the community: “I would just like to ask the community to continue to support CCS’s efforts and each drive that we have because each drive is very impactful for the families we serve. We’ll be doing Winter Warm Strive with clothing, blankets, and all the needs as we start heading into the cold weather.”



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