More than 400 Hannibal students will get school supplies through $15,000 Riedel Foundation grant

HAYS check

Riedel Foundation trustee April Baldwin presents a $15,000 check to HAYS organization ohair Andrea Campbell to fund an upcoming Back to School Fair. | Photo courtesy of the Riedel Foundation

HANNIBAL, Mo. — A $15,000 grant awarded to the Hannibal Area Youth Alliance will provide all the supplies needed to start the school year for 418 Hannibal Public School students who have already signed up for a Back to School Fair.

School district leaders in Hannibal recognized the need to enhance the distribution of school supplies to students in need, so the HAYS group stepped in to establish this first-time Back to School Fair.

In a press release, HAYS organization chair Andrea Campbell said, “In recent years, multiple groups began collecting supplies, resulting in duplicated items or supplies that didn’t meet the specific needs of each classroom. That leaves the schools with storage rooms full of unnecessary supplies, with families still needing to purchase certain items on their school supply list. Our Back to School Fair will collaborate with other groups and fulfill the list of supplies needed in individual classrooms.”

“When we look at grant applications, one of the factors that we weigh is whether it will benefit an unduplicated service,” Riedel trustee April Baldwin said. “In this case, there were so many groups wanting help with school supplies but there wasn’t a coordinated effort. We think this is a great collaboration that will bring organizations together to help Hannibal students in need.”

Established in 2008, HAYS aims to unite community agencies and address the needs of Hannibal youth for optimal student success. It operates through various committees including Student Success, Mentors, Organization and Buddy Packs. HAYS also has a Helping Hands Fund to identify other student needs.

“For instance, students affected by house fires lose their belongings and need to start over, students outgrow their shoes without the means to buy new ones, low-income families require assistance to participate in activities, and there may be unexpected needs like bed bug removal services,” Campbell said. “The Riedel grant has the potential to help us expand the fund and have a greater impact.”

HAYS is securing additional vendors and sponsors for the Back to School Fair on Aug. 12.

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