For over 30 years Value Drug Mart Associates has run the Tools 4 School program, primarily based in small rural communities, making sure local kids get an equal chance at learning when they go back to school.
Tools 4 School is a program that helps to make sure that all kids have access to the tools they need to focus on learning when they go back to school in the fall.
But what you may not realize is that Strathmore Value Drug Mart is the only Value Drug Mart that has continued to support and donate to the program to keep it going for kids in this community.
We spoke with Gordon Morck, the Owner and Pharmacist at Strathmore Value Drug Mart about the history of the initiative.
“Over 30 years ago the corporation Value Drug Mart started Tools 4 School as a program to help supply school supplies to children in need in our various communities. We were addressing a need that wasn’t really being met at the time,” he said.
Morck explained that over the years they grew the program until about five or 10 years ago Value Drug Mart Associates were going through some changes when they decided to end the program.
“We were left thinking well that’s the end of the program.” Later a local school principal approached the Strathmore Value Drug Mart asking them to continue the program here in town.
“One of our local school principals came to us and said please don't stop the program because you're really addressing a need that we have in the community and there are people depending on the supplies,” he said.
“So we decided to continue ourselves and have continued through until today, raising supplies and money for school supplies for children who are in need,” he said. The supplies are provided to the children at no cost.
“When someone comes and donates money, what we do is we take that money at the end of the back-to-school season (before school starts), and go to our suppliers and ask them for special deals on their remaining inventory. We have a lot more buying power by doing it that way,” he explained.
“When you donate a dollar here, it goes a lot longer than if you were to just go buy stuff,” he said.
Last year during the pandemic they were able to raise about $3,000 and the hope is that this tight-knit community can help them meet that target.
Morck says, “We appreciate the support that we get from people in the community.” But he noted that the program continues today because, “In this community, there's a need, and we (Value Drug Mart) do our best to solve people’s problems.”
Local teachers and schools are encouraged to contact the store to let them know what kinds of items or school supplies they are lacking.
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