Supply drive for Philly schools extended; $16k in sanitizer, tissues donated

A supply drive for Philadelphia public schools has been extended, and the initiative's latest donation means school is about to get more sanitary for thousands of students.

Hygiene company SCA Americas announced a donation to the Philadelphia School District today of $16,000 worth of tissues, hand sanitizer and sanitizer dispensers as part of a Global Citizen and Interstate General Media school supplies drive.

The drive kicked off in late September and will now run through Nov. 22. The initiative had been slated to end Friday.

The effort is a partnership between IGM, the parent company of the Inquirer, Daily News and, and Global Citizen, a Philadelphia civic engagement organization.

"The encouraging interest and response to our donation drive with Interstate General Media to collect supplies for Philadelphia's public schools is good reason to extend this campaign for another month," said Todd Bernstein, Global Citizen's president. "From small donations by individuals to large contributions from area companies, like today's donation of paper and hygiene products by SCA America, this effort shows that we live in a community that cares about public education and the success of students."

SCA is donating 1,000 cases of Tork brand boxed facial tissues -- a total of 31,590 boxes -- as well as foam hand sanitizer and 120 touch-free dispensers that will provide more than 60,000 hand washes.

The supplies were unloaded this morning at Delaplaine McDaniel School in South Philadelphia and will be distributed to schools across the district.

SCA says the supplies will help reduce the spread of germs and disease in restrooms, cafeterias, offices and sports facilities.

Donations can be dropped off inside the Market Street entrance of IGM’s office at 801 Market St. from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on weekdays.


EARLIER STORY (Sept. 24): Effort to gather supplies for Philly public schools enters second week

A month-long donation drive for school supplies kicked off Wednesday and enters the second week to help augment teachers and students in Philadelphia schools affected by its large deficit.

Interstate General Media, publisher of, The Inquirer and The Daily News, has teamed up with Global Citizen, the city-based civic engagement organization, to gather the supplies from public donations through Oct. 25.

Officials with IGM and Global Citizen said last week that the effort is in response to the well-publicized failure by local and state elected officials to close a massive deficit that at one point was roughly $304 million and led to a bare bones opening of Philadelphia's public schools this month. A similar effort by the city is currently underway to raise $500,000 in private donations by Oct. 15.

"The School District of Philadelphia’s budget crisis underscores the immediate need for increased, equitable funding from the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania," said Todd Bernstein, President of Global Citizen, which is responsible for the annual Greater Philadelphia Martin Luther King Day of Service. "As citizens, each of us can also play a role in supporting Philadelphia public schools by donating the most critically needed supplies."

Requested school supplies include No. 2 pencils, ballpoint pens, copy paper, construction paper, colored paper, calculators, protractors, dry erasers, scotch tape, masking tape, crayons, magic markers, highlighters, rulers, children’s scissors, bottles of glue, glue sticks, tissues and hand sanitizer.

All donations can be dropped off inside the Market Street entrance of Interstate General Media’s headquarters at 801 Market Street (formerly the Strawbridge & Clothier building), Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Bernstein said last week he spoke with the city and school district prior to the launch of the campaign and that once the donation drive is complete, city and school leaders will decide how the supplies would best serve the neediest city schools, teachers and students.

"I'm working with both the superintendent’s office and the [Philadelphia Federation of Teachers] to make sure everyone is on the same page," Bernstein said of the donation drive and its effect once supplies are gathered. "In the end, a city’s greatness is as good as its workforce and active citizenry. Active citizenship is not a spectator sport and we can contribute by making just a small contribution."

Bob Hall, IGM CEO and publisher, said he hopes the campaign rallies support for the district.

"The start of the school year provided the perfect timing for Interstate General Media to partner with Global Citizen in directly responding to those Philadelphia public school students in need of essential school supplies," Hall said. "We are confident that our collection campaign, launching in the lobby of our headquarters, will inspire Philadelphians to rally together in providing welcomed contributions of the most basic school supplies."

Contact Brian X. McCrone at 215-854-2267 or Follow @brianxmccrone on Twitter.