School Supply Drive in 10th Year
Assessor Says Program Helps Hundreds of
LIVINGSTON, La. – Livingston Parish Assessor Jeff
Taylor, along with several business sponsors and
volunteers, will once again help hundreds of needy
children in the Livingston Parish Public School
system with their school supplies for the 2010-2011
This year’s school supply drive
marks the tenth year that Taylor has sponsored the
ASSESS the NEED program, which has collected more
than $380,000 worth of supplies for Livingston
Parish students to date.
He anticipates needing nearly $40,000 in
supplies to meet this year’s need.
“This program has helped so many
children in our parish.
We have received feedback from so many
teachers and school counselors that the donations we
give to the schools have such a positive influence
on the attitudes and behaviors of the students who
need the supplies,” Taylor said.
“Clearly, the supplies give
these students the tools they need to do their work
and be successful in the classroom.
But more than that, these supplies help to
send a strong message to these children that they
matter and that our communities believe in them.
That is the most powerful aspect of this
program,” he said.
Taylor said he anticipates the
ASSESS the NEED campaign helping about 2,300 needy
children this year.
To meet that need, Taylor said
several local businesses have given monetary
donations to the program.
Also, nearly 100 volunteers from across the
parish will participate in collecting donations for
ASSESS the NEED from individual contributors who
visit the Wal-Mart stores in Denham Springs and
Walker each Saturday and Sunday from 8 a.m. to 8
p.m., July 24 to August 8.
Donations of cash and supplies will be
accepted, he said.
Donations also can be dropped
off during regular work hours, Monday through
Thursday, at the Livingston Parish Assessor’s
Office, located in the Town of Livingston.
Taylor said he didn’t fully
envision the parish’s need, nor the overwhelming
positive response to that need, when he first began
the ASSESS the NEED program 10 years ago.
“The idea grew out of
conversations with friends and family members who
work in the school system.
They would share stories about how they would
purchase supplies out of their own paychecks to give
to needy children,” he said.
“I thought we could raise enough money to
help a couple hundred kids.”
“But when we saw how great the
need was and we shared that with the public, the
out-pouring of support was just overwhelming.
Over the years, we have helped thousands of
families in need,” Taylor said.
“We’re just so proud to be in our tenth year
of doing something that makes such a positive
difference in the lives of so many.”
He noted that five years ago,
ASSESS the NEED was also called on to raised money
and supplies for students who were displaced by
Hurricanes Katrina and Rita.
Immediately following that year’s local
campaign, the drive collected another 6,000 book
bags filled with school supplies.
Many of the supplies came from out of state.
He said all of those supplies were
distributed to students in Livingston, Tangipahoa,
St. Tammany, Plaquemines, Assumption, and Calcasieu
parishes, as well as Jasper, Texas. Taylor estimates
the contributions for that campaign alone exceeded a
value of $100,000.
Taylor said basic school
supplies – notebooks, paper, scissors, glue,
crayons, markers, construction paper, pencils, ink
pens, rulers, pocket folders and book bags – can be
purchased by the ASSESS the NEED program for about
$20 to $25 for each child.
Bulk purchases and tax-free advantages help
to hold the cost down, Taylor said.
Taylor said all the supplies
will be sorted and given to each parish school prior
to the start of classes on August 6.
“This way, the students can receive their
supplies on the first day,” he said.
“It’s important that our
students begin the school year on a positive.
Doing so can set the tone for their success
for the rest of the year,” Taylor said.
“Meeting that early deadline creates a ‘leap
of faith’ situation for our program, because we
don’t have all the money needed at the time that we
But the good news is that we’ve never come up
short, and we’re counting on the generosity of the
people of Livingston Parish to make sure this year’s
supply purchase is paid in full once again.”
Taylor said there is no
application process for assistance from the ASSESS
the NEED campaign.
Persons needing help should contact their
principals or school counselors.
Officials at each school submit their
anticipated need to ASSESS the NEED organizers.
The requested supplies are sorted
accordingly, and the individual schools are then
responsible for identifying needy children and
distributing the supplies to them.
This year’s ASSESS the NEED
business and media sponsors include Wal-Mart stores
of Denham Springs, Walker, BR-O’Neal Lane and
Central; Livingston Parish News; WAFB-TV; The
Advocate; Keller Williams Realty; McDonald’s of
Baton Rouge; Gilmore & Son Construction; Ferrara
Fire Apparatus; Taylor Media Services; Richard Price
Contractors; Weyerhauser; Alvin Fairburn &
Associates; Livingston Federation of Teachers;
Ryan’s Family Steakhouse; AmVets Auxillary Post 68;
EATEL; Pelican State Credit Union; Auto-Chlor
Services; Entergy of Louisiana; Plantation
Management; Bond-Wroten Eye Cline; Forrest Grove
Plantation; Pilot Club of Denham Springs; Boyer,
Hebert & Abels, Attorneys at Law; Hancock Bank;
Redeeming Life; Capital One Bank; Henderson
Auctions; Retired Teachers of Livingston Parish;
C-Del, Inc.; Lamar Advertising; Team Honda; Team
Toyota; Clear Channel Communications; Life
Publishing; Dr. Michael Sceroler, DDS; Livingston
Kiwanis Club; Unity Prayer Center; Denham Springs
Lions Club; M.A. Allen Realty Group; Venessa Lewis
Graphic Design; Denham Springs Rotary Club; Mary Lee
Donuts of Denham Springs; and Volks Constructors.