“School was very dear to me,” she said. “But growing up in Arkansas, there were five of us. I never got the Nancy Drew lunchbox. I know how it is when funds are tight."
For more than 20 years, St. Luke’s Mission Outreach Committee has held a School Supply Drive to support the children and families served at St. Luke’s Pediatric Care Center. The Center is a mission-based agency of St. Luke’s Hospital that provides healthcare to underserved and underinsured children in St. Louis City and County.
After last year’s back-to-school drive, Dianne kept her eyes peeled for discounted items.
“It’s such a fun thing to get a new backpack,” she said. “Anytime I saw a sale on school supplies, I bought a backpack. I continued collecting them throughout the year.”
Her final tally? 60! In total, this year’s drive efforts collected 2,300 items – 252 of those were backpacks. And 60 came from Dianne.
Her giving nature – especially surrounding back-to-school season – runs in the family. Her dad was a teacher who was always doing extra things for his class and students to enhance their education experiences.
Whether the 2020-21 school year sees children back in the classroom or connected virtually at home due to the COVID-19 pandemic, creativity and learning begin with having the right supplies.
“It’s the little things,” she said. “When you can give and share, it puts a smile on your face. Physically, kids might not be able to get on a school bus and be in class, but they can still have a new backpack.”