Sunbeam Family Services passes out school supplies for grandparents raising grandchildren

Local

OKLAHOMA CITY (KFOR) – Back to school is quickly approaching for many districts across Oklahoma. 

While administrators work to figure out exactly how they will hold classes safely, many families are worried about logistics, especially those struggling financially. 

Sunbeam Family Services stepped in Monday to help combat the problem with their annual school supply giveaway. 

Cars started lining up around 6 in the morning. 

This special event is reserved for grandparents who are raising their grandchildren. 

“Many times our senior adults do without medications, they do without life essentials, to be able to send these kids to school,” said Corporal Kim Lopez with the Oklahoma County Sheriff’s Office. 

Each child gets a backpack, and a box of school supplies packed specifically for each grade level. 

“Education is so important that even as a grandparent you give up things, instead of taking the car to the store, you walk it and save gas money to buy their supplies,” said Cheryl Upton, who is raising her grandchild and great grandchild. 

Staff with Sunbeam teamed up with the Oklahoma County Sheriff’s Department. 

This year, the team had to brainstorm how to keep the event safe due to the pandemic. 

“Some schools are going to be in person, some schools are going to be virtual, but regardless of which option the grandfamilies are choosing we’re here to help with the backpack distribution,” said Angie Doss, Chief External Relations Officer for Sunbeam Family Services. 

They set a new record, passing out over 400 backpacks. 

For some driving through, it’s an emotional moment. 

“I don’t know what I would’ve done without them! Cause we’re on a budget – school supplies are not cheap and we can’t expect the teachers to be buying everything either,” said Judy Walterscheid, who is raising her three grandchildren.

Most are just trying to give their grandkids the life they deserve. 

“All this stuff adds up cause there was a time that I was buying all of it and I spent over 100-150 bucks for all the school supplies, so this really does help,” said Walterscheid. 

Everyone who picked up supplies on Monday was registered. 

If you are a family in need of some help contact Sunbeam Family Service here.

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