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State Farm donates collected supplies to schools


September 4, 2019

Photo courtesy Tom LaFonde State Farm Agency

Bobbie Dolphay of Tom LaFond State Farm Insurance sorts through school supplies that LaFond's office collected for local school children.

With the Havre Public Schools kicking into full gear, a local business is doing its part to help students have the supplies and tools they need to be successful this school year.

"They get to have new things and just really be part of their class," Lincoln-McKinley Primary School Principal Holly Bitz said. 

This is the third year Tom LaFond State Farm Insurance has collected donations of school supplies from around the community for Havre Public Schools. State Farm Office Manager Angela Twombly said they received a $500 donation from the District 4 Human Resources and Development Council, a $250 donation from the Thrive-In Action Team and donations from various people around the community this year. Donation bins could be found throughout the summer at State Farm as well as Total Chic, the business of LaFond's wife, Tammy, in the same building. 

All donations go toward supplies for students at the local area schools including St. Judes Thaddeus School, Bitz said.

"It has been very appreciated," she said. "We have so many students in need."

She added that no matter what, the schools try to get students supplies, but getting help from businesses like State Farm makes it easier. It also helps create a level playing field for students, regardless of their background, so every student can get a good education.

State Farm doesn't go so far as to collect clothes and shoes but they did collect snacks for students as well as supplies for teachers, such as tissues and pens, for the year.

The donations started after a former employee at State Farm said they knew a family that wasn't able to purchase school supplies at the store, having to make a decision between groceries and school supplies, Twombly said. She added that since then State Farm has held the school supplies drive so no student would have to go to school without what they needed.

Twombly said she hopes simple acts of kindness, like the school supplies drive, will help the students to grow up with the same kindness in their hearts.

"Maybe they will grow up with that same sort of generosity in their hearts that they will pay it forward," she said. "... It's important that they all know that they are loved and they're important and that they matter."

Bitz said that she has seen an impact with her students, every year when they walk into the school, she asks them if they have what they need for classes, if not she lets them pick out what they need.

"The smiles on their faces are amazing; it's just wonderful," she said.


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