Eastern Iowa teen is making sure students have school supplies for the school year

Published: Aug. 22, 2017 at 4:29 PM CDT
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Isabelle Warner is a senior at Union High School in La Porte City. She took part in the High School Leadership Institute Program over the summer at Wartburg College. She wanted her service project to make an impact on her community.

She says, "What I wanted to do was have every student that needed a backpack with school supplies to have it. So if their family couldn't afford school supplies they wouldn’t have to buy them on their own, because that can be a real big financial burden. School supplies can be really, really expensive."

Warner started the non-profit “Union Packs.” She bought the backpacks herself, and asked people to help fill them with school supplies, and setup drop off locations around Dysart.

She explains, "In my high school, I've seen kids that they may have supplies but it might be the backpack is almost broken or the pencils are really short and they need new ones, and I just think every student needs quality supplies for the school year."

Warner has collected 54 backpacks. The backpacks are going to schools in the Union School District in Tama County. She dropped off ten of those backpacks to the Dysart-Geneseo Elementary School Tuesday morning.

The school’s principal Mark Alberton says, “I think all schools probably have a proportional need for backpacks and supplies. But every year we're seeing more and more families."

Warner says the issue needs more attention. She explains, "Because there's a lot of ways that our communities try to stop poverty like food drives and other things like that, that churches do, but nobody really focuses just on school supplies"

The school will give the backpacks to the kids who need them during the first day of school on Wednesday. Albertson also says the donations will benefit teachers who have to spend their own money to buy supplies for students.