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Dynamic team leads school supply drive: Annual effort begins July 22

Updated: 
July 14, 2017 - 8:09am

WAIMEA — Trisha, Hunter and Jaydon Tripp have volunteered at Waimea’s annual school supply drive each year since it began in 2014. This year is no different.

The mother-daughter-son team not only support the charity school drive but have also been beneficiaries.

“We got involved three years ago because my children and I were looking for a way to give back to our community,” Trisha said. “As a single mom, my children and I have benefited greatly from the generosity of others and we wanted to find a way to pay it forward. One value I would love to instill in my children is to live a meaningful life through service.”

Her daughter, Hunter, now 18, and son Jaydon, 14, help man the tables in front of KTA, Foodland and Starbucks in Waimea asking for school supplies or monetary donations used to purchase school items for families in need.

“We continue to stay involved because we know it is a cause worthy of our time and we have seen families who have benefited from it,” Trisha sad. “We can relate to those who sometimes do not have the resources to purchase necessities and it feels good to help make a difference. The look of relief and the gratitude we see is priceless.”

More than $2,000 worth of supplies have been collected each year.

This year’s drive will be held outside KTA, Foodland and Starbucks the weekends of July 22 and 23 and July 29 and 30. Fridays will be from 4-6 p.m. and 9 a.m.-2 p.m. Saturdays. The Waimea Preservation office will also be a drop-off and pick-up location 9 a.m.-noon on Wednesdays.

The extensive school supply list includes everything from pencils, pens, erasers, glue sticks, crayons, composition books and backpacks to water bottles and wipes. Waimea Middle and Elementary, along with Kanu o ka Aina, are the primary recipients, but no one will be turned away.

According to Waimea Elementary School Principal Scott Tamura, 73 percent of their students qualify — about the same as last year.

“There is a great need for support,” he said. “The students who receive supplies can feel confident that they are able to enter their classrooms on the first day of school and jump right into learning instead of worrying if they have the materials they need. We have been fortunate to have many community partners who help our students in various ways.”

The drive was started by Donni Sheather, a Waimea resident and former assistant to then-Councilwoman Margaret Wille. Trisha’s mother is her personal friend and a former neighbor who connected them.

“We had so many inquiries from parents for special funding that it became apparent that the need was there,” Sheather said. “We have several groups in this district with the same agenda and they are all welcomed and needed.”

At the end of the drive, all goods will be gathered and delivered to the schools.

“We had a shortage of backpacks and notebooks with 1/2 blank and 1/2 lined paper last year,” she said. “I talked with Councilman Tim Richards this week and he is happy to use his new office in Parker Square as well as a drop-off and pick-up location.”

No registration is required, and students who benefit from the school supply drive are confidential.

“I did not want to establish a ‘list’ with the possibility of labeling the kids,” Sheather said. “Last year, three families were overcome with gratitude for our efforts. It made me want to continue doing this.”

Info: Call Donni Sheather at 938-9667

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