School drive extending outside Elizabethtown plant’s walls

By Chrysta Carroll -

ELIZABETHTOWN — A 92-cent notebook, pencils for $1 and a sharpener for 58¢ — it doesn’t sound like a big deal, but add in 20 more items and multiply it times four children, and the costs start adding up. The folks at Specialty Product Technologies are chipping in to provide specialty products — school items — to parents, and they’re extending the opportunity county-wide.

Having participated in charity work like the Angel Tree and Empty Stocking Fund at Christmas and roadside cleanup, giving back is nothing new for employees of the company. Earlier this year, however, they decided to dedicate a group for that purpose and formed an Activities Committee, whose job it would be to plan both in-house fellowship opportunities and events that benefit the community.

According to Materials and Logistics Manager Amanda Reed, the group was determined to do one thing in particular.

“They were adamant about collecting school supplies,” she said.

Chaquetta Johnson is heading up the effort for the committee.

“I have kids,” she said, “and with the lists we were given last year, we saw that not all students were able to afford the products, and we saw that there was a need in middle of the year for same products, therefore we realized that not all families could afford the products requested by the teachers.”

“The lists are getting longer and longer,” said Reed, “and we see the need going to the parents, and we thought it would be a good way to help out.”

The committee set out three collection boxes inside the plant, along with lists provided by schools of needed supplies, but were surprised by what they saw.

“We thought we’d get three boxes,” said Reed, “but we already have two pallets stacked knee-high. The response has been really exciting in our facility, so that’s why we wanted to reach out. Maybe the bigger community also sees the need.”

Donations range from pencils to art supplies to backpacks. Reed said that the committee doesn’t have a set goal, just to collect as much as possible, and they would like the community to join them in their effort.

Donations can be made until Aug. 15 at Specialty Product Technologies, 2100 W. Broad St. in Elizabethtown, or at the Bladen Journal office in downtown Elizabethtown. The collection box at Special Product Technologies is in the lobby, which remains unlocked, so drop-offs can be made at any time. The Bladen Journal office is open weekdays from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Needed school supplies listed by school and grade can be found on Bladen County Schools’ web site by following the link or by clicking here. For more information, contact Amanda Reed at 443-521-3645.

Chrysta Carroll can be reached by calling 910-862-4163.

By Chrysta Carroll

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