Every fall, AAA South Dakota (American Automobile Association – “Triple A”) and its local offices collect donated school supplies to be given to school organizations before the beginning of the school year.

The AAA insurance agency in Pierre is directed by agent Dale Person. “We’ve been doing the school supply donation for a few years now,” said Person. “We collect from our clients, members, and the general public. This year we collected a good-sized box, up and over the top, of a whole bunch of stuff.”

The campaign encourages AAA associates and members, and the public to donate new, unused school supplies. The elementary schools chosen by AAA associates to be supported through the 2019 collection drive are up to the local agency.

“This year we decided to give the donated items to the Pierre Area Referral Service (PARS), who will in turn distribute the items to where it can be used best,” said Person. PARS currently administers the Pierre/Fort. Pierre Food Pantry, Holiday Food Program, Emergency Assistance Program, BackPack Food Program, Senior Food Box Program, and Information & Referral Services. PARS is also the local Salvation Army Service Unit for Hughes and Stanley County.

“AAA cares deeply about the communities in which we live and serve,” said Marilyn Buskohl, manager of public and government affairs. “The school supply drive aims to ensure that students and teachers have what they need when they get to school, which takes pressure off children and families and gets the school year off to a great start.”

Though still pleased with this year’s donations, “Maybe next year, when people hear about it, they’ll be a little more tuned into it,” said Person.

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