Coquitlam business launches back-to-school supply drive

Jana Nimmo, Coquitlam Staples store manager, with some of the supplies that will be purchased with donations collected over the next few weeks. - DIANE STRANDBERG/THE TRI-CITY NEWS
Jana Nimmo, Coquitlam Staples store manager, with some of the supplies that will be purchased with donations collected over the next few weeks.

Sluggish school supply sales because of labour uncertainty — and good weather — may have put a dent in Staples' fundraising drive to buy school supplies for needy students. But the Coquitlam store manager, Jana Nimmo, expects to see more people in stores next week as teacher talks ramp up and the Sept. 2 school opening date nears.

"The need is so great out there," said Nimmo, who is hoping people will add a few dollars to their school supply purchases so 450 less fortunate School District 43 elementary school students can be fully-equipped when they head back to school.

The supply fundraising drive is on now until the middle of September and Nimmo said she'll be able to get more bang for the donated buck to buy glue and other expensive items for youngsters attending 19 schools where need is the greatest.

Nimmo said she chooses items that have the most appeal to the youngsters and are the most expensive for families to buy. "We try to focus on things that kids really need and make them feel like they are part of the classroom."

Among the most coveted items are Crayola markers, but Nimmo will also stock up on pencils, paper and writing booklets.

For those who can afford to purchase their own supplies, there's also an opportunity to contribute to Me to We  development activities in Africa and other countries while also tracking the impact of profits from the purchase with a special code that is provided.

Nimmo acknowledged that peoples' attention may be distracted by holiday activity or they may be waiting until the school strike is settled before purchasing school supplies.

"We're a little bit behind," Nimmo admitted, but she said business should pick up next week when people return from vacation and start preparing for the fall term.

If everyone contributed a dollar in addition to their school supply purchases, children in SD43 would get what they need, Nimmo said, adding that the funds stay local and the supplies are appreciated.

"These children could be your son or daughters' school mate," Nimmo said.

For SD43 back-to-school information check your child's school website or


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