Volunteers with Pembroke Fire Department are collecting donations of items such as pencils, notebooks and binders during a back-to-school supply drive.

This is the first year the fire department has hosted a school supply drive.

The supplies will help Pembroke Elementary School students start the year off with all the tools they need to learn. About 650 students attend Pembroke Elementary School. The supplies will be donated to the school's Family Resource Center.

"By going through each of the grades, especially for kindergarten through second grade, the students really need crayons, colored pencils, markers and pocketed folders," said Lt. Joe Stealy, Pembroke Fire Department.

The higher grades need looseleaf notebook paper, graph paper and binders, Stealy said.

"Pretty much anything you think a child might need for school … that's what they are asking for," he said.

To help donors shop for the most needed supplies, the school's supply lists are posted on the department's Facebook page.

Donations will be accepted through the first week of August. The first day of school for Christian County Public Schools is Wednesday.

At anytime, donations can be dropped off at the front door of the department, 118 Maple St., Pembroke. Donors also can call the department at 270-475-4144 or send a message to the Facebook page to request a firefighter be present to accept the donation.

The department does not have a set goal in mind, but hopes to gather as many donations as possible to help not only students and families, but also teachers, Stealy said.

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"What the kids don't have, a lot of times the teachers are going to spend out of their own pocket and any amount we can give is going to help the teachers as well," Stealy said.

Robert Celing, Pembroke Fire Department firefighter, said this mission is all about community service.

"We are serving the community by being volunteer firefighters. Pembroke Elementary School is part of our community," Celing said. "We just want to help out as much as we can."

Back to school shopping can be expensive, especially for families with multiple school-aged children, Celing said.

"That can be quite a chunk of change for some families, so these donations will be a big help. A lot of people live payday to payday," Celing said.

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