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The BIG GIVE Kicks Off


United Way Posted by: United Way 2 years ago

United Way & Bowen Health Clinic are leading the 2022 BIG GIVE drive to collect 2,000+ bags of school supplies for our local elementary schools.

Each year, United Way organizes the BIG GIVE to help families in our community prepare for school. The goal is to raise 100 bags of school supplies for every elementary school.

It is easy to get involved and make a big difference for kids across Kosciusko and Whitley counties! 

United Way has prepared bags for each grade level that include a tag listing what items should go inside. Community members just need to pick up a bag, fill it and return it to United Way.

This project is perfect for a business, church, friend group, or family to take part in. Just pick the number of bags you want to fill and shop for school supplies!

“Every day, people ask me how they can help children in our community. BIG GIVE is a straightforward way you can let a child know that someone cares about them.” – Darren Bickel, President of United Way

Bags can be requested by clicking the button above or picked up at the United Way office at 119 E. Center St. in Warsaw or the Whitley County Consolidated Schools Administration Building at 107 N. Walnut St. in Columbia City.  

Bags can be returned to either location and be sure to follow us on Facebook to get information about convenient Community Drop Off Events on August 4th and 5th.

  • Warsaw at Lincoln Elementary on August 4 from 10:00am-12:00pm.
  • Columbia City at Little Turtle Elementary on August 5th from 10:00am-12:00pm

Aimee Lunsford, the principal of Lincoln Elementary School in Warsaw says, “In my twenty-plus years as an educator, I have learned that the back-to-school shopping tradition that our family enjoys so much is not a common practice for many kids in our school system.

For many families, there aren’t funds to support the purchase of these needed supplies, let alone new clothes.

Back-to-school supply shopping just isn’t in the cards for so many of the children in our communities. That’s where United Way and the Big Give event save the day!

Through the supplies donated by our community as well as the organization and distribution by United Way, there isn’t a student in our building that goes without. Students come in that first day of school with shiny new supplies just like the rest of their peers.

Students’ nerves are put at ease and community hearts are filled by making a difference. I absolutely love the gift of United Way’s ‘Big Give!”

The Sponsor for this year’s BIG GIVE is Bowen Health Clinic.

“The BIG GIVE is a great chance for Bowen to do something that will impact so many of the families we serve. It is a great chance to level the playing field for all students.” – Tera Robinson, Director, Kosciusko County

Each school will distribute the bags to children who need them, ensuring that no child has the awkward moment of being unprepared for their first day of school.

The BIG GIVE began in 2018 and has collected thousands of items for children across the region.

United Way’s children’s initiatives focus on children who need the community’s compassion to grow up strong. Outreach efforts focus on reading, childcare, and helping children overcome traumatic experiences.