One person can make a difference, but imagine the possibilities when people work together to achieve a common goal.
When Urban Farmgirl Boutique Owner Tiffany Morgan had the idea to donate school supplies to students in need, she reached out to her friend Jessica Norman, owner of The Lovely Lily. Together, they decided there was a definite need to help.
Morgan’s idea spread to include other friends who are local boutique owners. They got together to come up with a plan to encourage the community and other local businesses to help with the school supplies drive.
“We wanted to give others a chance to help and give back,” she said.
Through a Facebook post, Morgan asked for help from her friends, family and other business owners.
“We are rallying together to get donations of school supplies and food items for our local backpack programs,” she wrote. “I’m challenging y’all to help us make this the biggest fundraiser ever, to help our local kiddos have the supplies and nutrition they need!”
She has offered to meet anyone or stop by a local business to pick up supplies or food. She also said she would do the shopping for individuals if they prefer to send her money via PayPal.
This inspiration to collect items came to Morgan earlier in the year. Back in early 2021, she decided that the Parkland had seen enough devastation.
She started setting small goals to promote positivity within the community. When she started planning her back-to-school window display for her business, she realized that it was the perfect time to help children with school supplies. In addition, she has several friends who contribute to local backpack programs which provide additional food to students in need.
“There is always a need to help, so I messaged the girls and asked if we could add those food items as well, she said.”I wanted to come together to show the community that the local boutiques are willing to work together and that we all want nothing but success for each other.”
“The owners have been so supportive and are ready to help the kids in need,” she said. “We are all hoping to make this a huge success and make it an annual event.”
Back-to-school supplies needed includes backpacks, pencils, colored pencils, markers, glue sticks, headphones, folders, dry erase markers, notebooks, art boxes, crayons, rulers, highlighters and scissors.
Food items needed for the backpack program include pudding cups, fruit snacks, granola bars, beef jerky sticks, fruit cups, Ramen noodles, SpaghettiOs, Pop-Tarts, snack-size chips and cookies, macaroni and cheese individual cups, and more.
Currently there are nine boutiques who are participating in collecting school supplies and backpack food items for the drive: Urban Farmgirl in Desloge, The Lovely Lily in Farmington, Queen Anne’s Lace in Park Hills, Main Street Mercantile in Potosi, RiJo’s Boutique in Park Hills, Lou Lou’s in Potosi, The Giving Tree in Desloge, Apple Blossom in Desloge and A Simply Chic Boutique in Farmington.
The Back-to-School Boutique Rally runs through Aug. 4. The community is urged to donate new school supplies and food for local backpack programs to the boutique of their choice. People who donate new items will receive 15% off clothing for regular-price items at the boutiques. They will also be entered in a boutique gift basket worth more than $300 if they spend a minimum $20 or more after the 15% discount has been applied.
Once the deadline passes, the boutique owners will meet to combine all donations and break them down based on the size of the local school districts. Then the boutique owners will deliver items to the districts within their areas.
Morgan added the best part about the Back-to-School Boutique Rally is “receiving the gift of giving to a child in need of supplies.”
For more information, contact Tiffany Morgan at Urban Farmgirl Boutique at 1136 N. Desloge Drive or call 573-516-8086.
Pam Clifton is a contributing writer for the Daily Journal