If all goes according to plan, volunteers will gather busloads of school supplies for Tri-City youngsters getting ready for classes this fall.
And, if history is any example, all will indeed go according to plan.
And better than ever.
Cathy Merrill Holle, director of the Volunteer Center, credits two of her volunteers, Jeannette Fields and Holli Calder-Cox, with working 60 hours a week to expand the already successful community project.
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Saturday is the payoff.
School buses will be at the Walmart stores at Highway 395 in Kennewick, Road 68 in Pasco and Queensgate in Richland.
Volunteers with the buses will accept new or gently used school supplies to give to youngsters who may not be able to afford them.
The campaign grew out of a story told to Merrill Holle by her son, Chad Foltz. He now is principal at Cascade Elementary School in Kennewick, but at the time of the story was a new middle school teacher.
The bell had rung, ending the school day. But as he stood in the hall, he noticed a group of boys huddled around a trash can.
Knowing that boys will be boys, Foltz decided he had better find out what was up. Why hadn't the last bell sent them dashing for the door?
One boy held something in his fist behind his back. The boys hemmed and hawed until Foltz demanded the truth.
The boy brought his hand from behind his back and showed a crumpled piece of paper.
"We need it to do our homework," the boys explained.
They would smooth out the used paper and write on the other side. Their families were in no position to buy paper.
It's a powerful story, and it has moved countless Mid-Columbians to contribute cash and supplies each year.
Bechtel National, Soroptimists, Kennewick Kiwanis and Babcock Services are major donors to the school materials project.
In addition to being collection points for the school buses, Tri-City Walmarts will allow customers to make financial donations to Seniors Helping All Kids' Education at any check-out stand.
Cash donations for SHAKE are a good alternative for those who want to help school kids but don't have the time to shop or bring in usable school materials from home.
More than three dozen SHAKE containers will be placed at Hanford and other supportive agencies and businesses for donors to leave new or usable backpacks, binders and other school supplies.
Locations include the Tri-City Herald, Kennewick General Hospital's main campus and the medical mall, area senior and community centers, Office Max, Kadlec Regional Medical Center, the Manor at Canyon Lakes and many area churches, including 16 locations for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
For more details on the monthlong project, call the Volunteer Center at 582-0631. SHAKE is part of the center's Retired and Senior Volunteer Program.