St. Mark Youth Enrichment asking for community support to help fill a nearly 1,000 student fundraising shortfall.

The agency aims to provide school supplies for 3,600 area kids.

DUBUQUE COUNTY, Iowa and EAST DUBUQUE, Ill. – With the first day of school just around the corner, St. Mark Youth Enrichment is focused on providing school supplies for as many area kids as possible, but they’re 1,000 kids short of their fundraising goal. They are reaching out for local support to fill the gap. 

Since May, the organization has been working on its annual school supply effort on filling school bags and providing new supplies for 3,600 students at elementary, middle, and high school public and parochial schools in East Dubuque, Dubuque, and Western Dubuque school district areas. For students at a Title 1 school in Dubuque, St. Mark is providing a bag of supplies for each student.

“It’s a huge undertaking, but it’s worth it to know just how impactful this is to area parents,” shares Beth McGorry, the agency’s director of donor relations. “Everything is more expensive—rent, school supplies, gas, everything—and that means for our community’s families in need, it’s even harder.”

But just what do supplies for that many kids look like? St. Mark gets as many new supplies as possible from businesses like Hartig Drug and other local sources at the best rates possible. This year those total more than 25,000 pencils, 12,500 folders, 9,000 glue sticks, 4,500 crayons, 9,000 notebooks, and more supplies kids need on the first day of school.

“Because of these partnerships, we’re able to fill the bag of one of these students for as little as $49,” adds McGorry. “Just $49 gets a child all the crayons, pencils, notebooks, and more they need for the first day of school. Parents have enough to worry about today, school supplies shouldn’t be one of them. That’s the peace of mind we’re hoping to deliver.”

McGorry adds that while dollars always go further to support more kids, the organization is still in need of a large number of 1-inch binders if people prefer to shop.

Since the project started more than 20 years ago, St. Mark has worked with the community to provide supplies to fill more than 34,600 bags and counting for area kids. 

To donate, volunteer, learn more, or start a fundraiser at your business, visit, email or call 563-582-6211 ext. 110.

If you’re in need of school supplies, please reach out to your school’s counselor to be added to the supply list. St. Mark is committed to sending supplies to area schools and is providing a bag of supplies for each student in local Title 1 Schools.

Sign-ups for supplies and other community resources will also be available at the Back to School Bash on August 5 from 11 AM-2 PM at Audubon Elementary School in Dubuque. Information about the event and transportation times are available at Sign-ups will be shared with area counselors. 

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Apples for Students-Fill the Bag is a Community Initiative of St. Mark Youth Enrichment. Last year, St. Mark worked with local donors to provide supplies to more than 3,600 students on their first day of school.

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St. Mark Youth Enrichment (formerly St. Mark Community Center) is a non-profit organization that has been serving the Dubuque Community for over 30 years.

St. Mark provides healthy and enriching afterschool and summer programming focusing on academics and social-emotional well-being in the Dubuque, Dyersville, and Peosta areas.

The organization works with kids from kindergarten to fifth grade and surrounds them in environments of love, safety, and belonging.

To learn more, visit