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Catawba County United Way Holds Annual School Supplies Drive

Kids don’t have to think about school until August. But it’s not too late to start thinking about helping families get the supplies they need to be ready when that first school bell rings. The Catawba County United Way is holding its annual School Supply Drive through July. Donations can be dropped off at the Catawba County United Way throughout the month at 2760 Tate Blvd SE in Hickory.

Monetary donations can be mailed to the Catawba County United Way – P.O. Box 2425, Hickory, NC 28603. Make sure to mention it’s for the School Supply Drive. Donations can be made through the CCUW’s Facebook page as well.

The CCUW is also grateful to the more than 20 local companies and public agencies who are also helping to support this year’s drive. The drive benefits students in all three local public-school districts: Catawba County, Hickory Public and Newton-Conover City Schools. Supplies will be distributed to school systems the week prior to the start of classes in August.

This is an important outreach every year for the United Way, considering the percent of economically disadvantaged students (EDS) in each local school district. In 2022, the EDS in Catawba Co. Schools was 41.3 percent, in Hickory Public Schools it was 53 percent and in Newton-Conover City Schools it was 50.5 percent, according to the NC Department of Public Instruction. Families can access the supplies through their schools’ guidance counselor office.

In 2022, the CCUW’s school supply drive had a record number of items collected and funds raised that helped families throughout the year. There were 8,653 individual items collected in last years school supplies drive along with clothes, monetary donations and volunteer hours.

John Bailey, Catawba County United Way Director of Community Impact said, “Every year, the United Way hears from families who struggle to get those basic classroom supplies their children need to start school. But what we’ve learned is that the need continues throughout the year. These are perishable items that need to be replaced. Paper, crayons, cleaning wipes all run out. So, the Catawba County United Way has redoubled our efforts. We’re hoping to push our collection past last year’s number of 9,000 items to help local schools provide those classroom tools from the first day of school to the last.”

Learn how you can help by calling 828-327-6851 or visiting