Mountwest Community & Technical College donated 63 backpacks filled with school supplies, as well as additional loose items, to help West Virginia middle and high school students who have been affected by flooding.
The effort was led by Donna Donathan, professor of legal studies, who initially posted a request on her Facebook page.
“I hoped to get 10 or 15 backpacks and supplies from a few friends and colleagues I contacted,” Donathan said. “Then it just grew from there. I’m surprised and pleased with the response. We’re going to be able to help a lot of deserving kids.”
Donathan said the Mountwest student services department got involved, and the school supply drive became a college-wide effort. Dozens of backpacks with the Mountwest logo were donated by the student services department, and faculty, staff and students all pitched in to fill them with supplies.
“There were more than 20 faculty and staff members who brought in fully stuffed backpacks and others who brought school supplies,” said Donathan. The effort also received donations from the Cabell County Deputy Sheriff’s Association, the Barboursville Walmart and a private donor.
Donathan hosted a “stuffing party” to fill the bags and organize the supplies. The assembled bags completely filled her vehicle. Necia Freeman, a friend of Donathan’s who oversees an outreach ministry at Lewis Memorial Baptist Church, is coordinating the supply drop off.
The recent major flooding affected several schools and not all had flood insurance. Twelve counties in West Virginia have been declared disaster areas. Donathan said middle and high school students were chosen because some elementary schools don’t allow backpacks, and the majority of supplies for younger students are provided by state funds.