By Melinda Gray
It’s hard to believe this summer is almost over and that another school year is quickly approaching. With two school-age children of my own, I’m already feeling the pinch of needing two sets of school supplies. I can usually only afford to get a few things at a time on my tight budget, and I’m not alone.
According to The Education Foundation/Champions for Learning, more than 64 percent of Collier County schools had more than half of their students receiving free or reduced lunch during 2013-14. Thankfully, there will be some welcome relief, and to this stressed out mom, every little bit helps.
Between Friday, Aug. 1 and Sunday, Aug. 3 — the weekend of Florida’s Back-To-School Sales Tax Holiday — 50 McDonald’s restaurants across Southwest Florida are asking customers and members of the community for their help in collecting new school supplies for local students in need. Donated supplies can be dropped off at participating McDonald’s restaurants in Collier, Charlotte, Hendry and Lee counties, as well as two locations in North Port.
“McDonald’s owner/operators have always been ardent supporters of our schools and local families, and we saw a school supply drive as a great way to continue giving back,” said Mike Adams, who owns 19 McDonald’s restaurants, including 15 in Collier County. “With 50 McDonald’s restaurants across Southwest Florida participating in this activity, we have a real opportunity to collect a lot of supplies for students in need.”
The first 150 people in each restaurant to donate a school supply will receive a “Be Our Guest” card for a free Happy Meal. Suggested donations include notebook paper, pens, #2 pencils, crayons, glue sticks, rulers, small index cards, highlighters, notebooks and three-ring binders. All supplies collected in Collier County will be donated directly to local public schools.
For information about McDonald’s area programs follow them on Twitter @McDonalds_SWFL.
Back-To-School Sales Tax Holiday
The weekend of Aug. 1-3 is slated for Florida’s annual Back-To-School Sales Tax Holiday, which allows parents to purchase clothing, accessories, school supplies and computers with no applicable sales tax added for items with a selling price of $100 or less per item.
• “Clothing” means any article of wearing apparel, including all footwear (except skis, swim fins, roller blades, and skates) intended to be worn on or about the human body. Clothing does not include watches, watch bands, jewelry, umbrellas, handkerchiefs or sporting goods and equipment.
• “School supplies” means pens, pencils, erasers, crayons, notebooks, notebook filler paper, legal pads, binders, lunch boxes, construction paper, markers, folders, poster board, composition books, poster paper, scissors, cellophane tape, glue, paste, rulers, computer disks, protractors, compasses, and calculators.
• “Personal computer” means an electronic device that accepts information in digital or similar form and manipulates such information for a result based on a sequence of instructions. The term includes any electronic book reader, laptop, desktop, handheld, tablet, or tower computer but does not include cellular telephones, video game consoles, digital media receivers or devices that are not primarily designed to process data.
• “Personal computer-related accessories” includes keyboards, mice (mouse devices), personal digital assistants, monitors, other peripheral devices, modems, routers, and nonrecreational software, regardless of whether the accessories are used in association with a personal computer base unit. Computer-related accessories do not include furniture or systems, devices, software, or peripherals that are designed or intended primarily for recreational use. The term “monitor” does not include a device that includes a television tuner.