Teachers at Stella Mayfield Elementary School will be reaching into their pockets less frequently this year thanks to many Elgin residents with deep reservoirs of goodwill.

The charitable men and women are members of churches that are part of the Elgin Ministerial Association, which, with support from the Elgin Lions Club, donated large quantities of school supplies to Stella Mayfield this morning during the first day of classes.

Gerald Hopkins, pastor of the Elgin First Methodist Church and a leader of the school supply drive along with his wife, Mary, helped conduct the drive because he does not want teachers to have to spend their own money to provide students with school supplies.

“Teachers should not have to do this,” said Hopkins, who is also a member of the Elgin Lions Club with his wife, Mary.

He knows from firsthand experience that teachers spend their own money to help students. He saw it happen during his career as an educator, which included stops in the Huntington School District where he was its superintendent and in the North Powder School District where he was its principal.

Hopkins is not the only one who has taken note of how much teachers spend on school supplies. A report on National Public Radio, which aired Dec. 19, 2017, stated that teachers in the United States spend an average of $530 a year on school supplies for their students.

The supplies provided today by the Elgin Ministerial Association to Stella Mayfield included at least 20 backpacks, numerous pencils and pens, notebooks, folders, glue and boxes of crayons.

Lauri Ferring, pastor of Elgin’s Nazarene Church, which is part of the Elgin Ministerial Association, was moved by how the community has reached out to the students.

“This is an awesome way to help,” she said.

Other members of the Elgin Ministerial Association are St. Mary’s Catholic Church and the Christian Life Center.

This marks the second year the Elgin Ministerial Association and the Elgin Lions Club have conducted the school supply drive. Elgin Mayor Allan Duffy said their efforts reflect Elgin’s character.

“This shows that a community where others care about each other thrives. I see it thriving because of these groups,” Duffy said.