Women to hold school drive

WARREN – Two area women are collecting school supplies for children whose homes and schools were recently damaged or destroyed by a deadly tornado in Oklahoma.

Carol Nicholl and Chrisi Economos have been gathering markers, pencils, folders, notebooks and other supplies since July 10 in the hopes they can provide much-needed supplies to the victims of the tragedy on May 20 in Moore, Okla., where a deadly tornado tore a devastating 20-mile path through the town. Lives were lost, and many homes, as well as an elementary school, were destroyed.

Nicholl said they are also filling some backpacks to deliver to Warren City Schools for distribution to children in need.

“As a (former) teacher, I can’t imagine starting school without all of the stuff I always had. I can’t imagine these teachers trying to start over without that stuff that you just have all the time,” said Nicholl, who retired from Warren City Schools after more than 30 years.

Nicholl also helps out at the Saratoga Restaurant in Warren, which Economos co-owns. The restaurant is one of several drop-off sites for the donations.

“We’re doing very well. We’ve had a lot of monetary contributions,” said co-owner Jim Economos.

School supplies will be purchased locally with the funds that are donated, and Nicholl and Chrisi Economos will drive down the end of August to drop off the donations in person.

The fundraiser has garnered an outpouring of support from the community, Nicholl said, including donations from Trumbull 100, St John’s Orthodox Church in Warren and the First Place Foundation, as well as numerous area residents.

The homes of more than 2,000 students in Moore were damaged or destroyed, with 500 more displaced from their schools, according to Moore Public Schools Donations coordinator Brandy Glover.

“We’ve been very thankful for evertything that we’ve received,” she said.

Donations are being accepted at the following locations: the Saratoga Restaurant, downtown Warren; Complete Kettlebell and Fitness, 2658 Niles Cortland Road, Niles; and Paige and Byrnes Insurance, 425 Niles Cortland Road, Warren. Items will be accepted through Aug. 28.

The supplies will be delivered to Moore on Aug. 31 for children in pre-K through 6th grades.

For more information, contact Nicholl at 330-469-3093.