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Reno-Sparks kicks off “Apple Tree” school supplies drive

The Salvation Army Women’s Auxiliary of Reno-Sparks is gearing up for its school supplies drive for children in Washoe County, and it’s asking local businesses for help.

Modeled after the Angel Tree program, which solicits local businesses for Christmas gift donations to underprivileged children, the corps’ “Apple Tree” program instead campaigns for school supplies. Major Janene Zielinski said she even used the same contact list of businesses that participated in the Angel Tree program. That way, they don’t have to “reinvent the wheel,” Zielinski said.

An interested donor “picks” a paper apple from the laminated tree poster with a printed address label and a child’s grade and school supply need written on each one. The donor then shops for the items and returns them to the collection container for distribution by The Salvation Army.

The Salvation Army Women’s Auxiliary hopes to provide 750 needy children in Washoe County with $80-$100 worth of items such as backpacks, school supplies, hygiene products, shoes, socks and new undergarments to help them start the new school year.

“In Reno, we’ve found that people want to give to really specific needs,” Zielinski said. “People like to do the shopping and knowing it’s going to go right in the hands of children in need.”

Other corps in the Del Oro division have since implemented the Apple Tree program to meet needs in their communities.

More donation drop-off locations and Apple Tree sponsors are always needed. If your corps is interested in sponsoring an Apple Tree or would like more information on this program, please contact Major Janene Zielinski at janene.zielinski@usw.salvationarmy.org.

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