Catholic Charities collected school supplies donated by area businesses in Midland States Bank’s parking lot on Friday as part of the “Battle of the Businesses” school supply drive to benefit area kids. Five businesses participated in the event including Midland States Bank, Heartland Dental, Patterson Companies, INC, Legacy Harley Davidson, and Agracel, INC.
Whichever company brings in the most supplies will win the “battle,” and gain some bragging rights, but Amy Thompson, chairperson of Midland’s Voice of Employees Team, said that the real goal of the event is to help improve the community. Thompson said that the school supply drive on Friday was the first of its kind for the company, but hopes to make it an annual project. Employees who contributed to the drive were rewarded with an additional bonus treat from Culture Frozen Yogurt or Teutoplolis Frozen Treats.
Catholic Charities will handle getting the donated supplies out to area children before the start of the school year. According Catholic Charities Area Director, Sister Carol Beckermann, the supplies gathered at events like “The Battle of The Businesses” are highly beneficial for area kids.
“It’s very nice,” Sister Carol said. “Because some of these kids would never have new school supplies coming in. They would either have school supplies that have been, from last year and used, or they would have none. So it kind of helps the kids in many ways. It helps the school experience, it helps the social experience, it helps the personal experience.”
Supplies are transported in the “Ramblin’ Rose” bus, that according to Sister Carol, will make 12-14 in summer before school starts. Catholic Charities serves seven counties in the area.