Like everything else this year, the Salvation Army of Wake County's book bag drive is a little different.
In addition to the usual school supplies, they need hand sanitizer, wipes and masks.
"We need the safety equipment for the safety and well-being of our children and their families and the educators," Shakeda Muldrow said.
Muldrow heads up the CATCH program at the Salvation Army of Wake County where donations for the annual book bag drive are being collected.
CATCH stands for Community Action Targeting Children who are Homeless.
"No matter if you're leaning in-person or you're learning at home with your parents or if you're doing homeschooling or you're doing it remotely, there's still a need for supplies," Muldrow said. "Children still need to feel confident that they have the tools that will give them academic success."
And that's why the Salvation Army of Wake County decided not to cancel the second annual school supply drive.
That's even though, possibly because of the pandemic, donations are lagging behind last year with just over two weeks to go.
Still there's confidence the goal of 500 backpacks filled with pencils, crayons, markers and notebooks will be met.
"I've never seen where there's a need that our community has not responded and it has met that need," Muldrow said.
She is even hopeful that with your help they may exceed their goal.
And with more than 4,500 homeless kids in Wake County, the CATCH program can use all it can get.
"School goes on all year round," Muldrow said. "We get families all year round and there's always a need. So if we have a surplus, that's great because then we have a source that we can go to and we can get what the child needs, so that they can feel successful for their school year."
One way or the other, come August 8, students will start showing up to get their supplies. But not all at once like last year.
"We're going to make appointments for families to come in. and we'll provide them with the book bags and supplies and there will also be some literature about resources for their families and for the children," Muldrow said.
And if you want to make a no-contact drop-off, a Salvation Army staffer will come out to the parking lot of their Raleigh headquarters on Capital Boulevard to get your donation out of your trunk.