Olivet Neighborhood Mission is collecting school supplies to help Cedar Rapids families in need


The Olivet Neighborhood Mission (ONM) has begun its annual drive to collect school supplies to donate to Cedar Rapids families in need. The mission, located at 230 10th St NW in Cedar Rapids, is accepting school supply donations during its normal business hours, 9 to 11:30 a.m., Tuesday through Saturday.

There is a particular need for the following items.

• Backpacks

• Pencils
• Blue pens
• Highlighters
• Colored pencils
• Pencil box/case
• Erasers
• 24-count crayons
• Glue
• Glue sticks
• Scissors
• Dry erase markers
• Thick markers and thin markers
• Composition books
• Wide-ruled loose leaf paper
• Spiral notebooks (wide rule)
• 1” 3-ring white binder with plastic pocket front
• Vinyl two-pocket folders
• Headphones
• Kleenex

The mission is also accepting financial donations online for its school supply drive.

ONM provides a wide variety of services, from a clothing closet with free and low-cost clothing and other personal items to after-school and summer programs for community kids and teens, and has had a food pantry open to Cedar Rapidiansh since 2005.

The mission started at Olivet Presbyterian Church in Cedar Rapids in 1976, as an effort by church members to provide clothing for those in need. Shortly afterwards, it added programs for kids, and by 1987, it had expanded and moved into its own space, across the street from the church. Eleven years later, a gift from an anonymous donor allowed the mission to build a new, much larger space for its work. In 1999, it moved into its current home on 10th Street NW.

Last year ONM was able to provide school supplies to 370 families, the nonprofit said in a Facebook post. This year, it aims to increase that number to 400 families.