Miss Cassopolis Scholarship Program hosting school supply drive

CASSOPOLIS — Cassopolis students are getting the royal treatment this year — or at least, they are getting treated by royalty.

The Miss Cassopolis Scholarship Program is hosting a school supply drive to support Cassopolis schools and students. The group is seeking: young adult fiction books, journals, any/all age-appropriate books, children and adult facemasks, Kleenex, pencils, reusable water bottles, dry erase markers, crayons, folders, lined paper, markers, pencil boxes, individual gardening tools, such as gloves, rakes and shovels, and headphones. Donations will be accepted at the Cassopolis Hardings, 445 E. State St., Cassopolis, from 6 to 8 p.m. Friday, Sept. 25 and Friday, Oct. 2.

“We are really excited about this,” said Miss Cassopolis Kaitlyn Hartsell, 19. “We know that going back to school has been really hard for everyone right now, teachers especially. We thought this would be a good way to give back.”

The school supply drive came about after Hartsell saw a Facebook post from a mother of a Cassopolis student needing school supplies. After reaching out to her and donating school supplies to the mother, Hartsell said she and others involved with the Miss Cassopolis Scholarship Program saw a need for more donations.

After talking with teachers at Cassopolis Public Schools, a list of requested items was created to be donated to the school district. Initially, Hartsell planned to meet with each person who wanted to contribute individually. However, the response was so great that her organization decided to work with Hardings to create a drop event.

“It got to be a lot bigger than I thought it would be,” she said. “It’s so great.”

Hartsell said the community’s response to the project had moved her. She said she had been inundated with messages from people wanting to help, and one local business, Sign of the Unicorn, even donated a large amount of playground equipment to the schools.

“It’s definitely been a great response from our community,” she said. “This is a great way to bring us all together and make a large donation from the whole community. I’ve been so overwhelmed. It’s so amazing to see so many people give back.”

With the two drop off days for the school supply drive just around the corner, Hartsell said she is anticipating a high level of community participation and hopes to get Cassopolis teachers everything they need for their classrooms.

“As a small-town community, I just think it’s amazing how we can all come together — especially at a time like this when things are hard,” she said. “I think this can bring us all together and show what we can do as a community. It feels good knowing that we are in a community that supports our children and our schools.”

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