School supplies being collected for foster children on Middle Peninsula

Bill Nachman - Posted on Aug 03, 2011 - 05:04 PM

The Gloucester County Department of Social Services is seeking help to make sure that foster children in the region have adequate supplies to use when they return to the classroom in September.

Ron Hostinsky, social work supervisor, said that the department began its annual "Apple Tree" campaign for foster children on July 18 and persons can donate requested items until Aug. 22.

"Apples" are placed on "trees" at two Gloucester locations—Bill Hudgins GMC and Riverside Walter Reed Hospital. Each apple indicates a specific child’s needs.

Hostinsky said that school supplies are being sought on an age-appropriate basis, with notebooks, markers, crayons and other supplies on the lists. The program does not seek clothing, Hostinsky said, which is covered under other relief efforts for foster care children.

Organizers want to provide back-to-school supplies for about 40 children, from pre-K to college (foster care helps up to age 21), Hostinsky said, in Gloucester, Mathews, Middlesex, King and Queen, and King William counties. Last year, about 30 children were assisted by the program.