For the third straight year, the Allegheny YMCA, located at 600 W. North Ave. on the Northside, conducted a Back to School Supplies Drive for the children and teachers at Manchester K-8. The idea was conceived in 2017, when Erica Gadelmeyer, operations director at the YMCA, had the idea of a “Donation Station” at the branch. Each month, the YMCA collects donations of items for a different cause. In the month of August, school supplies for the Manchester school were collected.
In the previous two years, the YMCA partnered with JCPenney at Ross Park Mall for the drive. The store provided filled backpacks and two carloads of other supplies. The YMCA, with the help of its board members and Northside neighbors, collected another two car loads of supplies ranging from pencils, paper, and notebooks, to tissues, wipes, and gallons of hand sanitizer.
This year, the YMCA collected over 600 pounds of supplies. New Board Chair, Mitchell Schwartz, petitioned the YMCA Board to contribute to the purchase of backpacks for the students. The response was overwhelming, and 140 backpacks were purchased. A group of YMCA staff and board volunteers dropped off the truckload of supplies on the morning of Sept. 20.
Aisha Robinson, principal at Manchester K-8, was ecstatic with the delivery. She told the YMCA staff and board members that last year’s donation of supplies was used throughout the school year and much of what remained was put into welcome packets for the start of school this year.