The Mint Hill Grill and Deli will serve as the central Mint Hill collection site for School Tools 2009, the eighth annual campaign to collect new school supplies for students in the Charlotte region, August 1 – 31. There are more than 80,000 students living in poverty in the Charlotte region and many of these students will show up on the first day of school empty handed.

“We encourage everyone to stop by and help us fill up the boxes for this worthwhile project,” said Tom Daly, co-owner and general manager of the restaurant. “Our Mint Hill citizens have come out in broad support for School Tools the past six years, and we expect that our boxes will be full well before the end of the official campaign.” The collection boxes are located just inside the restaurant.

While teachers spend an average of $1,200 from their own pockets each year to provide basic supplies to these students just so they can complete daily assignments, many of our school children do not have the necessary “tools” to make a successful start in school.

The goal this year is to collect more than 555,000 items. All types of school tools are needed, including backpacks, notebook paper, graph paper, rulers, markers, scissors, crayons, pens, pencils, erasers, notebooks, paste, spiral composition books, calculators, and other common school supplies.

During the 2008-09 academic year, Classroom Central distributed more than $4.45 million in free school supplies to 80,000 students in our region. However, to fully equip 80,000 students with all the materials they need for an entire academic year Classroom Central must distribute $17 million in free school supplies during the upcoming year.

This campaign is a partnership between Classroom Central, Communities in Schools and WSOC. Classroom Central has been providing students with the supplies they need to succeed since 2002.

The Mint Hill Grill and Deli is located at 11232 Lawyers Road at the intersection of Highway 51 in the heart of Mint Hill. Mint Hill and surrounding area residents can bring donations to the restaurant Monday through Friday, 10:30 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. and Saturday from 10:30 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.