By Johnny Jackson
One national organization is attempting to get teenagers actively involved in their communities, starting with helping to provide their peers with school supplies.
DoSomething.org is teaming up with Staples, the office products company, for their second annual National Do Something 101 school-supply drive.
"DoSomething.org is a not-for-profit organization whose mission is to help empower young people to take action within their community," said DoSomething.org spokeswoman Aria Finger. "We wanted to make sure that teens across the country could participate, so we partnered with hundreds of organizations across the country to benefit local charities."
Finger said the school-supply drive has recently garnered the support of singer-songwriter Ciara Princess Harris.
"The Do Something 101 Campaign is such a great cause," Harris said in a press release for the campaign. "I can't imagine going to school without pencils, notebooks and other basic supplies. Every little bit counts and, through Do Something 101, the more we can get these essential products to teens, the more we help kids stay in school and excel even further."
Finger said local teens can help in the campaign by collecting or buying school supplies to donate at their local Staples store. The campaign will last through Sept. 19, when Staples customers can also help through monetary donations of $1.
She said all proceeds and school supplies will benefit local teens in need, and will be given to The Salvation Army Boys & Girls Club of Greater Atlanta, an educational and not-for-profit organization that serves disadvantaged youths.
Staples is donating more than $125,000 worth of school supplies to the program, according to Demos Parneros, president of U.S. stores at Staples.
"The feedback from teen volunteers and recipients during our inaugural school-supply drive in 2008 was inspiring," Parneros said. "With help from celebrities like Ciara [Harris], we will continue to raise awareness for under-served youth in local communities who need the basic supplies to succeed in school."
Area teens who want to get involved may visit the Do Something 101 web site for ideas on how to run local school-supply drives.
"DoSomething.org is all about encouraging teens to take action in their own communities," said Nancy Lublin, chief executive officer of DoSomething.org. "We're proud to be spearheading a campaign for the second year, with the help of Staples, that allows young people to really make a difference among their peers."
Area teens and residents can find Staples stores in Henry and Clayton counties at 1772 Jonesboro Road, in McDonough, and at 1865 Mount Zion Road, in Morrow.
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