For the fifth year in a row, Excellus BlueCross BlueShield is requesting your help preparing local kids for a successful school year. From now until August 12, area businesses, Catholic Charities and the Economic Opportunity Program (EOP) will be collecting new school supplies. School Supply Starter Kits and new backpacks will be distributed at two Back to School Kick-off events in Watkins Glen (August 21) and Elmira (August 29).

The following businesses have partnered with Catholic Charities and EOP to offer drop off locations in Chemung and Schuyler Counties:

  • Buffalo Wild Wings, Horseheads
  • Community Arts of Elmira
  • Ferrario Ford, Horseheads
  • Five Star Bank, Elmira/Heights
  • Libraries in Chemung County
  • Panosian’s Famous Shoes, Elmira
  • Parmenter Tire, Auto & Truck Service, Horseheads
  • SPCA, Elmira
  • The Purple Iris Boutique, Horseheads
  • Treu Office Supply & Furniture, Elmira
  • Famous Brands, Watkins Glen
  • Parmenter Tire, Auto & Truck Service, Odessa & Montour Falls
  • Quinlan’s Pharmacy, Montour Falls
  • Schuyler Outreach Food Pantry
  • The Hi-Lites, Watkins Glen
  • Visions FCU, Watkins Glen
  • Watkins Glen Public Library

Donations will also be accepted at Catholic Charities’ Offices (215 E Church St, Elmira or 105 9th St, Unit 20, Watkins Glen): Monday – Thursday, 8:30am-Noon & 1pm-4:30pm; Friday, 8:30am-1pm and at The Economic Opportunity Program (650 Baldwin St, Elmira): Monday-Thursday, 8:15am-5:45pm.

“We are deeply appreciative of our local businesses who make this Back to School Drive a Success every year,” stated Katie Rhodes, Development/Marketing Coordinator at Catholic Charities. “Our continued partnership with EOP will ensure 600 children in Chemung and Schuyler Counties are better prepared for the school year and can enjoy getting ready to go back to school at our Events.”

Catholic Charities’ Back to School Kick-off Events will be held at Schuyler Outreach on August 21 and The Elmira Community Kitchen on August 29. Both events are 3:30pm – 5:30pm and require pre-registration by August 14 for backpacks and school supply starter kits. There will be local businesses and organizations at both events with information and activities for kids. A free dinner will be served at both locations. The events are free and open to the public.

For a full list of needed items and additional ways to donate, please check out our RightGift Campaigns, email Katie Rhodes at or call 734.9784, ext. 2133.

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