Updated:CHARLOTTE, N.C.,None — School starts in the Charlotte area in one week, which means many parents will spend the next week scrambling to buy school supplies.
For just one child, supplies can easily top $50.
The agencies participating in Channel 9's School Tools drive said the need for donated supplies is way up. One Salisbury family allowed Channel 9 to show just how much of a difference donations can make.
Devin Strafford, 12, loves school, and he's ready to go back -- especially to English class, which he said is his favorite.
"You read stuff," he said. "And I really like to read."
Devin spends hours in his room with his nose in a book. The longer the book, he said, the better.
Devin's mother, Tamara Buchanan, said money is pretty tight this year for school supplies.
"Sometimes, I don't know if the teachers realize, but they want what's on the list and sometimes that's the most expensive, and you have to cut things and (sometimes), there just ain't nothing to cut," she said.
That's where School Tools comes in.
Bob Foreman, with Communities in Schools of Rowan County, works at Devin's school and wanted to make sure Devin would start the school year with everything he needs.
"Notebook paper and some other books that you can use, and on the bottom are some pens and pencils and a ruler," Foreman told Devin.
Foreman said when a child starts school without the right supplies, they're starting at a deficit.
"It is so hard when they don't have basic things like (a) notebook (and) notebook paper, and we want to make sure that every child that needs that has that taken care of," he said.
Buchanan said the help is appreciated.
"That's one less thing he has to worry about, whenever the teacher comes up and says, ‘Do you have your basic essentials?' He can say, ‘Yeah, I do," she said.
Devin's now ready for seventh grade, and he said he's grateful to those who give to School Tools.
"(It) makes me feel like they really, really like us; like they want to help us," he said.
Click here to donate online to Channel 9's School Tools Drive.