Local businesses to host school supply drives

·3 min read

Aug. 11—Cherokee County school supply drives are underway as the first day of school inches closer for some, and has already started for others.

Bank of Cherokee County Marketing Coordinator and Treasury Sales Manager Tiffany Killer said the institution has participated in annual school drives at its three Tahlequah locations for at least 10 years. Killer said while they mainly receive donations for regular school supplies, they also accept monetary donations.

"If we do get cash donations, what I do is call the schools and just ask if there's anything specific they need, and I'll go out and use those funds to buy those specific supplies," said Killer.

Standard supplies that will be used all year by students and teachers, such as notebooks and Clorox wipes, are the donations Killer believes schools need the most.

Those who want to donate to the Bank of Cherokee County school drive can drop the supplies off Monday through Friday, 9 a.m.-5 p.m. and 9 a.m.-noon on Saturdays until Aug. 31.

Manager Samantha Berner said her place of employment, CBD Plus USA, has tried to help the area's students ever since opening shop in 2018. The medical marijuana shop's school drive is also taking place until Aug. 31. To donate, individuals can drop off their items from 10 a.m.-9 p.m. throughout the week.

"I think it's important to reach out because we are face to face with many people who are impoverished. Even if they get help from the state, or any other organization, a lot of times, it's just enough to make ends meet," said Berner. "So when special things pops up like schools starting back, you have clothes, you have backpacks, you have everything, and they can only afford a few things."

At the end of August, employees will reach out to schools in the area that will accept their donations. Due to COVID-19 restrictions and the business's selling of medical marijuana, she said, some schools are not able to accept the items.

"All the items we receive are from people within our community. It's not a direct disbursement that the store goes out and buys with their money. It's something the people in the community are willing to donate to the children who need it," said Berner.

CBD Plus USA has not received many school supplies yet this year, and Berner believes that's due to a lack of advertising and the current economy. To help entice more people to participate, Berner said, they offer deals on their products when customers bring in a donation item.

Another store that will be offering discounts on items for school donations is Tahlequah Holistic Cannabis. General Manager Meghan Smith said this is the store's first community-based event since it opened in March 2022. The fundraiser began Aug. 10 and will finish Aug. 17.

Since this is the first back-to-school event the store has staged, Smith said she will mainly focus on getting supplies to the area's elementary and middle schools. Depending on the success of the fundraiser, she said, they will try to provide for the area's high school students as well. Individuals who want to donate items can drop off supplies at the store or they can call for more information.

You can help

Other businesses and institutions participating in; different back-to-school drives and events this year include Cherokee County Oklahoma State University Extension Office, 918-456-6163; TTCU Federal Credit Union, 1-800-234-8828 ext. 5300; Ramos Martial Arts, 918-457-0246 Help In Crisis, 918-456-0673; Earth Medicine Curiosity Gift Shop, 918-772-5028; Century 21 Wright Real Estate, 918-931-8676; and Tahlequah Soroptimist Club. The Active Living and Transportation Committee will be hosting a back-to-school bash in Norris Park Saturday, Aug. 13, from 9-11 a.m.