Central Oregon Daily▶️ Local car dealer gives away school supplies, backpacks as costs skyrocket

▶️ Local car dealer gives away school supplies, backpacks as costs skyrocket

▶️ Local car dealer gives away school supplies, backpacks as costs skyrocket

▶️School supplies at an all-time high, local business gives away free backpacks

The school year is almost here and that means it’s time to buy school supplies. Those supply costs have increased by 10-30%. But a local business is trying to ease the burden.

Mother of three Haley Kelly already feels the financial burden of buying school supplies.

“Well, definitely having multiple kids, it’s been kind of crazy, especially with no school supply list yet,” said Kelly. “So, we don’t know what we do need to get yet or don’t need to get yet. With the rising in prices, too, it’s been crazy.”

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According to the National Retail Federation, consumers are expected to spend record amounts for back-to-school shopping this year. But not everyone can afford the prices of supplies.

“We are a little bit strapped on cash right now, so it would have been difficult for us to have all this put together for us,” said parent Veronica Ford.

Families with elementary through high school children will spend an average of $890 on back-to-school items this year.

Father of two Dustin Lanier feels lucky to have found a free backpack and school supply giveaway at car dealership Auto Kings.

“I think this is a huge help because on top of everything else, it is like almost impossible to think about like school clothes and school supplies sometimes, and it sneaks up on you in a matter of days,” said Lanier. “So, this is awesome.”

“I know prices are up on everything, but it is still something we would do regardless of where the prices sit at,” said Auto Kings co-owner Lance Toler. “My brother Jeff, my brother Austin. I know my mom struggled with us all growing up. We are all a year apart, so I know she didn’t have the easiest time.”

Toler and his brothers have been giving away backpacks for four years now, regardless of the price increase, and buy all 400 packs themselves.

“It just helps someone that needs that help,” Toler said. “No strings attached. Just go ahead and take it. Have fun in school.”

They are giving away supplies at the Bend, Redmond and Madras locations. The giveaway runs until all backpacks are gone.

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