The new school year kicks off today, which means students all across the city will be heading off to class in new clothes, with backpacks full of supplies in tow.
While school supplies like notebooks, pencils and pens are necessities, they do come at a cost, and that cost is on the rise.
According to Consumer Reports, parents are expected to spend, on average, nearly $685 per family on school supplies in 2018. While this is number is the same as 2017, it is up nearly 25 percent compared with 10 years ago, according to data from the National Retail Federation.
Looking to help lessen the school supply burden on local families is the Little Lamb Boutique.
Jennifer Posey, the shop’s owner, and her staff have purchased 50 backpacks that have gone to children in need of back-to-school supplies.
Posey opened the boutique in May as a form of a ministry for her. While looking to become a successful local business, she also wanted to be able to reach out to the community and help in any way she could.
“Before we ever opened the store, we were thinking about what we wanted to do and how we wanted to give back to the community. This store will eventually be big givers to the community once we really get going,” she said.
Posey said the store, which sells clothing and accessories for babies and children, is constantly participating in giveaways that include pool passes, movie passes and more.
Posey said that with school starting back they went in search of what they could do to help the community.
“We thought about backpacks. I went and got Malachi’s [Posey’s grandson] school supplies and was shocked at how much it was,” she said.
Posey said after giving is some thought, she purchased 50 backpacks. Almost as soon as she received them, they were out the door.
“I bought 50 backpacks,” she said. “We had so many that reached out to us that they need was almost met before we could get the word out. We’ve also been able to help out grandparents, who are also raising children.”
Posey said she also included some additional supplies with the backpacks to further help those in need with getting ready for the start of school.
“This was something that the Lord really laid on my heart. The rest of the backpacks will be given to Tullahoma City Schools for the teachers to give as they see they need,” said Posey.
Posey said they have plans to continue to work more with the community in the future.
At 11 a.m. on Saturday, Aug. 11 a puppet show will be held at the store. The event is free for the public to attend.
“There will be refreshments and the show touch on important topics such as bullying,” said Posey.
Little Lamb Boutique is located at 101 SE Atlantic St in Tullahoma.
Those looking to donate school supplies can do so at any of the Tullahoma City Schools that include Bel-Aire Elementary, Farrar Elementary, Robert E. Lee Elementary, East Lincoln Elementary, East Middle School, West Middle School and Tullahoma High School. According to school officials, donations are accepted and then distributed to students as needed.
Kali Bradford can be reached by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.