With the soaring cost of back to school supplies, the Yorkville Police Department went above and beyond to ease the financial burden for vulnerable families.

If you had to stock up on school supplies this year, chances are you felt overwhelmed by the sticker shock. But some parents had to forgo buying certain items on the back-to-school list because they only had so much money to spare.

That is where the Yorkville Police Department stepped up to save the day by bringing much-needed relief to the area's distressed families.

Investing in education

Yorkville Chief of Police, Frank Allen, understands the importance of receiving a good education and how a student's success can be influenced by several crucial factors, such as finances.

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Thinkstock
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When a family is unable to provide critical resources for their child, like school supplies, those students face a greater risk of falling behind their peers.

That is why Yorkville police poured their hearts into an aggressive initiative to help remove those barriers. Police say they rallied the community to step up and donate items like backpacks, pencils, notebooks and more so that "every student has the necessary tools to excel academically."

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The drive was a success and police said they attained their goal to "empower students and enhance their educational experience."

Said Allen:

We are committed to fostering a supportive environment for our students. By donating backpacks and school supplies, we hope to make a positive impact on their academic journey. We believe that investing in education today will lead to a brighter future for our community tomorrow.

Now, the objective is to begin delivering all the donated school items to disadvantaged elementary students across the Whitesboro and New York Mills School Districts.

The department proudly shared photos of them delivering supplies to the schools and celebrated how the gesture will help kids reach their full potential.

The spirit of unity

While local police labored to help as many students as possible, officers are also proud of how the community responded to their call to action.

Justin Sullivan, Getty Images
Justin Sullivan, Getty Images
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The department praised those who donated supplies and volunteered their time to ensure the success of their initiative.

"Their contributions have made a significant difference in the lives of countless students, instilling confidence, and enthusiasm for learning," the department praised on Facebook.

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Campaigns like these align with the department's public safety and community service goals. While police go above and beyond to protect their community, they also labor to forge strong relationships with residents.

In all, they say those efforts help create a "more inclusive environment for all."

Students face more obstacles this year

Thanks to inflation, American families are expected to cough up an average of $890 to purchase back-to-school supplies this year. When looking at how much will be spent nationwide on school supplies, the number is estimated to hit $41.5 billion.

That is a new record high. The previous record was set in 2021 when the nation's parents forked over $37.1 billion to get their kids ready for school.

Backpack with school supplies
Photo Credit - David Franklin/Think Stock
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A new survey of millennial parents found nearly 60 percent of respondents felt school supplies have become too expensive. The study by Cricket Wireless also found roughly 55 percent thought children need more school items than they did back in the day.

Cricket Wireless Vice President and Chief Marketing Officer Tony Mokry said:

With the rising costs of back-to-school supplies, parents may face unexpected expenses that can be especially tough on their wallets. Forty percent of the people surveyed said they buy school supplies in advance and update them as necessary throughout the year, suggesting parents may face unexpected expenses throughout the school year.

If you need assistance finding school supplies for your child, there are several charities that can help: such as the Salvation Army, Compassion Coalition, the Mary Nelson Youth Center, and United Way.

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For those wanting to help their community, Townsquare Media has teamed with Excellus BlueCross BlueShield for Kicks for Kids Sneaker-a-Thon to help needy school children get a new pair of shoes for the school year.

Currently, there are roughly 60 pairs of sneakers remaining to be purchased. If you'd like to support the initiative, please note the drive ends next week.

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