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Louisiana FCU goes digital with school supplies drive

LAPLACE – COVID-19 can’t stop Louisiana Federal Credit Union (FCU) from launching its fourth annual Pack the Pirogue school supplies drive, a program that has helped hundreds of Louisiana teachers and students obtain much-needed school supplies.

From August 26 until September 30, community members can donate to Louisiana FCU’s “virtual pirogue,” a pandemic-friendly alternative to the credit union’s traditional 5-foot long pirogue used to collect 4.5 tons of supplies since 2017. Money donated will be spent on basic school supplies, as well as hygienic items such as tissues and hand sanitizer. In-branch drop-offs will not be held this year. The credit union hopes to collect enough funds to offer five local classrooms the tools needed to ensure a safe and productive school year.

A recent analysis by the Economic Policy Institute revealed that many teachers have been paying out of their own pockets for cleaning supplies to disinfect their classrooms since the onset of the coronavirus outbreak. These expenses are in addition to the $459 teachers spend on school supplies every year, on average.

“A lot of teachers around Louisiana go out of their way and use their own money for supplies,” said Megan Otwell, kindergarten teacher at Luling Elementary and 2019 Pack the Pirogue recipient. “Without these supplies, it can affect (the students’) learning. Pack the Pirogue provides great support for schools, classrooms and teachers.”

Megan Otwell (Luling Elementary) and her kindergarten students were one of five classrooms nominated to receive a pirogue full of school supplies in 2019.

“In these challenging times, many families are forced to prioritize basic needs over school supplies,” said Rhonda Hotard, President/CEO of Louisiana FCU. “Just a few dollars can help provide kids in your community with the school supplies they need to be productive, as well as teachers who are spending their own money to provide students with a safe and enriching learning environment.”

Louisiana FCU is encouraging the public to nominate local classrooms in need to receive the supplies collected during this year’s Pack the Pirogue drive.

To donate, or to nominate a classroom, visit www.LouisianaFCU.org/pack-the-pirogue-2020.

Louisiana Federal Credit Union is a full-service not-for-profit financial institution serving more than 33,000 members in the River Parishes, Tangipahoa, and Ascension Parish region. For more information about the credit union, visit www.LouisianaFCU.org.