SHOPPING WITH mom and dad for school supplies is an exciting time for some children. But what happens when parents can't afford to buy their children items as basic as backpacks, crayons and notebooks?
Last year, the Salvation Army of Glen Burnie stepped in to help 297 area children get off to a good start. That help was made possible through generous donations from the community.
The need for school supplies has grown, according to Capt. Robert Daniels, commander of the Glen Burnie branch.
"We've been swamped with phone calls," he said. "When I went to school, all I needed was a box of tissues and a box of cookies. Now the schools are requiring so many things."
The majority of calls come from families headed by single mothers - but the Salvation Army says the number of calls from single fathers is growing as well.
"The majority of people we see have jobs, but they're low-paying jobs," Daniels said.
When families are counting every penny to pay for groceries, utilities and rent, there may not be enough left for school needs. Without help from more fortunate families, some North County children may be going to school empty-handed.
The Salvation Army's school supplies wish list includes backpacks, crayons, pencils, pens, composition books, notebooks, folders, loose-leaf paper and computer disks.
Donations can be dropped off at the Glen Burnie branch at 511 S. Crain Highway.
To learn more, call Kim Herron, the Salvation Army branch's social worker, at 410-768-0477.
Looking for a good summer read? Finished a good book you no longer need?
The North Arundel Hospital Auxiliary will have books at bargain prices at its monthly used book sale from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. today in the main lobby - and is accepting donations of used books at the same time.
"We can only accept donations during our book sales because of limited storage space," said spokeswoman Lena Brewer.
Unless otherwise marked, hardcover books will go for $1 and paperbacks for 50 cents. The selection is varied, and usually includes popular fiction, mysteries, classics and reference books.
For more information, call 410-787-4678.
Hibernating in the air conditioning? The MOMS Club of Glen Burnie has scheduled an assortment of activities for the last few weeks of summer for mothers and children.
Tee off with a game of miniature golf at 10 a.m. today at the Night Hawk Golf Center in Gambrills. The cost is $4 for adults and $2.75 for children.
A family pool party and picnic begins at 2 p.m. Saturday at the home of a club member.
A back-to-school party is planned for 10 a.m. Monday at the home of a club member, and each child will receive an apple, pencil and notebook.
The mothers' book club meets at 10 a.m. Tuesday at a club member's house, with the title under discussion next week "Midwives," by Chris Bohjalian.
The group will meet at Marley Station Mall on Aug. 25. Mothers and children will meet for lunch at 11 a.m. at Chick-fil-A and take in a puppet show in the center court at noon.
Glen Burnie's MOMS Club chapter is part of a nationwide organization and holds regular meetings at the North County Area Library at Harundale. The next meetings is scheduled for 9:30 a.m. Friday.
Annual dues are $20, and interested newcomers are invited to attend two functions before formally joining.
To register for one of the activities or for information, call Mary Beth Whalen at 410-789-1810 or Kerilyn Hinson, 410-850-4383.