By MARY RAINWATER
The Anderson County Sheriff’s Office and students at Story Intermediate School marked the placement of its DARE donation bin at the campus on Wednesday, with officers hoping for a successful year of fundraising for the drug education program.
County Sheriff Greg Taylor reported that his agency currently has seven bins belonging to Dallas-based World Wear Project stationed throughout Anderson County, with six of those at area elementary schools.
The seventh bin is located at the Anderson County Sheriff’s Office.
Residents can donate clothing, shoes, belts, purses, wallets, hats, caps, backpacks, hard toys, stuffed animals and pots and pans to the project by placing such items in bins currently located at Palestine’s Story Intermediate School, Westwood Elementary School, Frankston Elementary School, Elkhart Elementary School, Slocum Elementary School and Neches Elementary School.
The 560-pound bins, which have the trademarked DARE logo and donation information, were first put in place in May of this year.
“They all are placed in safe, visible locations on the campuses,” DARE office Pat Douthit-Green said. “Donors can just pull over and place their items in the bins.”
World Wear Project pays Anderson County $50 per month for each bin, with the monthly proceeds of $350 going directly to the county’s DARE program, the sheriff explained.
“The more bins we have,” Taylor said, “the more money we make for DARE.”
While the DARE officer’s salary and vehicle is funded through the agency, other items and supplies for the program are funded by private donations, according to Taylor.
“The kids and community have been receptive to the program so far,” Taylor said. “They seem to want to help, to do anything they can do.
“We appreciate the schools for allowing us to do this.”
Fifth-grade students in Anderson County schools go through a semester of DARE training which gives them the tools to say no to drugs and make other healthy lifestyle decisions.
Mary Rainwater may be reached via e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org