Our homeless kids need school supplies

Even though it is only mid-June, school supplies are already showing up on store shelves. When local schools begin classes for the new school year, a group of children will face this without the supplies they’ll need for success. School supplies are expensive and when you don’t have a home or a family and your school can’t supply what you need, where can you turn?
Youth on Their Own, YOTO, is an educational-focused organization. The 501(c)(3) non-profit program supports the high school graduation of abandoned youth in grades 6-12 enrolled in public, private or charter school in Pima County. Their homelessness is not their fault but may be a result of a parent or parents abandoning them, a parent’s drug use, poverty, incarceration or other issues. YOTO’s goal is to help homeless teens finish high school by providing basic needs of food, clothing and other necessities.
Since 2017, The Women of Quail Creek has spearheaded a school supply drive among its members, Quail Creek residents and with support from the local community for donations. They also run a Holiday Gift Bag and Blankets Drive so the teens receive blankets, clothes and gift cards at the holidays.
“This is the third year our club has organized a school supplies drive; each year more YOTO kids need our support. For those of us who don’t have grandkids nearby or need our help with buying school supplies, it’s great fun to shop for these special kids who are appreciative of our help,” said Sue Ann Obremski, TWOQC’s YOTO Committee Chair. YOTO does not receive any state or federal funding and depends entirely on individual and corporate donations.
The most needed items are quality adult-sized backpacks, flash drives, highlighters, pens, mechanical pencils, composition notebooks, folders, binders, gift cards in $10 and $25 amounts to places such as Target or Walmart or a check donation made out to YOTO, placed in an envelope and dropped off in the bin at the Quail Creek clubhouse.
Supplies and backpacks can be dropped off in the YOTO bin in Madera Clubhouse lobby, 2055 E. Quail Crossing Blvd. Monday through Friday from 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. Contact Sue Ann Obremski at [email protected] with questions or to drop your donation at her home (531 N. Keyes Rd.)