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August 26, 2022

Success of the School Supply Giveaway

school supply giveaway success


This year’s giveaway was a resounding success thanks to YOU! Without volunteers to serve with organizing/planning, hands-on preparations, and on site assistance during the giveaway itself, this initiative would not have reached the hundreds of students from our community who received much-needed supplies. You made a tremendous impact!

Students served: 653 backpacks with supplies have been provided to students to date! 580 or so went out during the two-day giveaway; requests for supplies have continued to come to the school district. That happens each year, throughout the school year, as students new to Ankeny arrive and/or fresh supplies are needed. That’s why pre-giveaway preparations pull together more backpacks of supplies than will be needed for the event itself, and these items are stored and accessed by district personnel. Big impacts… made all year long!!!

A huge Thank You also goes to:

  • John Deere Des Moines Works with contact Mark Madetzke for their generous financial contribution, this year and for many previous years!
  • Ankeny Walmart Supercenter with multiple staff members helping to fill/place a large, large order of supplies!
  • Staples in Ankeny with staff members assisting with fill-the-gaps purchases to ensure students received all needed items!
  • Ankeny Jags Cheerleading with coaches Alyssa Howlett and Kaylee Brugioni
  • Knights of Columbus, Msgr. J.M. Hanson Council 5038 at OLIH Catholic Church with contact Steve Syverson
  • Ankeny School District personnel in several departments/buildings, including
    – Heidi Palkovic, project lead/Community Engagement Manager
    – Trish Hugeback, Community Engagement Assistant
    – Kristopher Koehler, Community Engagement Assistant
    – Jessica Dirks, Ankeny Schools Chief Officer
    – Samantha Aukes, Communications Director, and all Communications Department staff
    – Aaron Stone and all Custodial Department staff at Prairie Ridge Middle School
    – Brad Dagger, Jeff Johnson, Ashley Murray and all District/Warehouse Department staff

And a special thank you goes to Dave Kissinger. Thank You for continuing to mentor, advise, and volunteer — for 18 years of providing a ‘fresh start’!


Project Fresh Start’s Annual FEWD/Faith and Education Winter Drive giveaway of winter clothing items will be held in November. Volunteers will be needed/welcome! If you’d like to participate, please save these dates (it’s likely there will be volunteer opportunities earlier in that week, also) and watch for more information:

*Saturday, November 12 from 11:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.
*Sunday, November 13 from 11:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.
Location: Prairie Ridge Middle School