Family Focus

Cabarrus County volunteers break record, collect over 100,000 school supply donations

As many students in our area head back to the classroom, having adequate school supplies can drastically change the trajectories of students from low-income families toward a successful future.

Despite the difficult year the pandemic has caused, Cabarrus County residents pitched in to help students and their families who have been negatively impacted by the financial ramifications of the virus.

Cabarrus County surpassed its prior year records and also went over the 100,000 mark of supplies collected.

  • 2018 - 20,333
  • 2019 - 30,180
  • 2020 - 25,015
  • 2021 - 32,832
  • Four Year Total - 108,360.

With a Rotary District 7680 grant and matching funds from the Concord-Afton Sunset Rotary Club, 14 acrylic brochure wall mounts were purchased and mounted at 14 Cabarrus County Schools and Kannapolis City Schools locations serving high school-aged students.

Approximately 7900 supplies were given to the 14 schools to put in the wall mounts for easy student access to the needed supplies.

Additionally, tote bags were given to school nurses with paper towels, large boxes of tissues, individual packs of tissues, bottles of hand sanitizer, and disinfectant wipes.

Staples at 1480 Concord Pkwy N in Concord sold pre-packaged boxes of 19 supplies for $5 to customers who then put the boxes in the 9 School Tools collection bin.

The project received 237 of these boxes that were donated to the Cabarrus 9 School Tools drive.

Covering 22 counties, 9 School Tools is the largest school supply drive in the Carolinas.

Since 1997, in partnership with educator coordinators in North and South Carolina, the WSOC-TV 9 School Tools program collects school supplies, which are then distributed for free to students in grades K-12.

The donations included pencils, paper, backpacks, notebooks and thousands of other items.

All materials distributed are used to create inviting learning environments and to support the academic and personal growth of students whose families lack the resources needed to purchase school supplies.

A very special thank you goes to Cabarrus County 9 School Tools coordinator, Cindy Fertenbaugh, for her years of dedicated service to the students of Cabarrus County.

“This takes a lot of dedicated time but is so very gratifying knowing how many kids and teachers we have helped,” Fertenbaugh said.

Learn more about 9 School Tools at

If you have an inspiring story to share, email Kevin Campbell, public affairs manager at WSOC-TV/WAXN-TV/Telemundo Charlotte, at

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