August 08, 2019 05:47 PM
(ABC 6 News) - 11 years ago the Worth County Development Authority (WCDA) decided that with increasing school supply lists, all parents in the county on every financial level could use a helping hand.
"School supplies have gotten extremely expensive, not to mention clothing and shoes. It takes a lot out of a parent's paycheck to do that, especially if they've got more than one child. We look at it as a gift to the parents of Worth County." Said Deb Hanson, CFO of the Worth County Development Authority.
For more than a decade, the WCDA has been handing out prepaid Visa gift cards worth $75 to all children with parents residing in Worth County, to assist in paying for school supplies. Depending on the number of Worth County students, on average the WCDA hands out approximately 1200 gift cards each school year totalling $90,000 worth of school supplies put to good use.
"There's times when I've had parents come in my office and start crying because they're so grateful. Living in rural north Iowa, payrolls aren't as large as they are in metropolitan areas, and it's a struggle for parents, so they're very, very grateful." Hanson said.
Supplies aren't just limited to pens and pencils, the cards can be used towards essentials like shoes, clothing and personal hygiene items.
"The deodorant for the P.E., the shoes, the socks. Those kinds of things that they need also, so that's really helpful too." Mentioned Worth County resident, Kelley O’Keefe. O’Keefe and her son Conor stopped by the WCDA on Wednesday to pick up their gift card.
"Winter coats are expensive and honestly shoes are expensive. It's just a helping hand to parents that we let them buy things other than pencils and crayons." Hanson said. "We have so many grateful parents."
"We are so grateful for the WCDA gift cards that we receive every year for helping to start our school year off." Said O’Keefe.
"It's such a generous gift that they didn't have to do, but they chose to make it a worthwhile contribution to Worth County that every single family has profited from." Mentioned Sue Hengesteg of Worth County.
The WCDA would like to see more benefit from the organization, and it’s as simple as following their mission statement, ‘Growing Worth County’, and moving into the county.
46.5% of funds from the WCDA go towards education in a variety of forms.
Created: August 08, 2019 05:47 PM
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