Through the generosity of credit union employees and members, Arsenal Credit Union (Arnold, Mo.) collected more than 1,800 school supply and food items in a back-to-school drive in late July and early August, donating them to low-income schools in Jefferson County and two food pantries in South St. Louis County.
Arsenal undertook its first-ever back-to-school drive as part of its commitment to stamping out hunger and aiding food pantries in the St. Louis area. Employees and members brought new school supply items and nonperishable food items into Arsenal branches over a three-week period. To encourage Arnold-area members and residents to participate, Arsenal parked a large school bus, decorated with a “Help Us Fill The Bus” sign, in front of its headquarters on Vogel Road in Arnold for much of the donation period.
“Back-to-school time can be very stressful and the financial burden of getting necessities can be even worse,” said Lori Crutchley, Arsenal’s vice president of Human Resources, who coordinated the back-to-school drive. “Our back-to-school drive was a great example of employees and members pulling together, making a substantial donation and giving the items directly to those who can use them.”
Credit union officials donated numerous bagged and sorted items to Clyde Hamrick Elementary School and Ridgewood Middle School in the Fox C-6 school district. Both schools have a high percentage of low-income students; it is estimated that Arsenal’s donations affected about 75 to 100 Clyde Hamrick students and about 20 Ridgewood students.
Donations also were sent to Feed My People in Lemay, a faith-based food pantry and thrift store that will give away all donated school supplies and food items to families in need. The Affton Christian Food Pantry also received school supplies and food from Arsenal’s back-to-school drive.
“No stress or worries for the children who showed up to school without school supplies,” Crutchley said. “We took care of them.”
The credit union collected a total of 1,434 school supply items and 734 food items.
PHOTO CAPTION: Employees at Arsenal's Arnold headquarters are pictured with the hundreds of school supplies and food items the branch collected during Arsenal's back-to-school drive.