WASHINGTON COUNTY, MD - For most people their back to school shopping is complete and they are concentrating on the new school year. For others, they are going back to school without the basics.
Anne Martin, the executive director of Children in Need Inc. in Hagerstown, says some students don't have things as basic as shoes.
The non-profit is trying to fix this issue by helping students get what they need for school.
The organization is located at 131 West North Avenue in Hagerstown. A walk through the building looks a lot like a warehouse for school supplies or a clothing department store.
As Anne Martin, the executive director takes a call from a client, she tells them to call her with a list of what they need. "We are trying to get the children back to school with everything they need," she said.
Any child who gets free or reduced lunches in Washington County Public Schools can go to Children in Need, Inc. and shop for free.
"They get their school supplies, they get some clothes, everything they may need," says Martin.
According to Martin, since the non-profit opened in 1998, the number of families needing service has steadily risen. "The economy is catching up with everyone, and we are using-up our resources. Now we need to come to places like this and supplement", says Martin.
The demand in the back-to-school months goes up 50-percent, but the services continue even after the summer rush. Families are able to come back once a month or whenever they really need something.
Martin says for the winter, she and a group of about 60 volunteers who organize the facility will start putting out the jackets in September.
Some of the volunteers are also clients at the facility.
Melissa Hott has three children. "It helps me out, because i don't have to buy clothes, or toiletries, no shampoo, no soap, no toothbrushes," says Hott. Hott says she donates her time because she is very grateful for the service.
If you would like to volunteer or get supplies for your family, the address is 131 West North Avenue, Hagerstown, MD 21740. The number for Children in Need, Inc. is 301-671-2014.