Orient Lodge donates to PES

By Ryan Ottney

November 16, 2013

Ryan Scott Ottney

PDT Staff Writer

The Orient Lodge 337 of Portsmouth donated more than 150 packs of school supplies to first grade students at Portsmouth Elementary School on Friday.

“Our organization is from Portsmouth and we wanted to help give back to the community that gives to us,” said Chris Tomlin, Vice Grand of the Orient Lodge. “We’re glad to be able to come out and help the community. Around Thanksgiving and Christmas everybody is strapped for cash.”

Tomlin said the lodge had a fundraiser with Impressive Studios photography in Portsmouth. A portion of all their sales during the fundraiser was donated to the lodge, and that money was used to purchase pencils, crayons, erasers, scissors, and a little pouch to carry it all. The lodge also donated tissues and hand sanitizer to teachers to battle the the cold and flu season.

The supplies were donated Friday morning to 157 first grade students at Portsmouth Elementary. Tomlin said they wanted to give to all of the students, and not just those in financial need.

“I feel that when you identify a kid by certain needs… it’s hard enough being a kid, let alone if you’re being picked on for being less fortunate than other children. That way we’re all on the same level. We’re all equal,” he said.

Tomlin said the lodge used to give donations like this every year, but hasn’t for a while. He said they plan to do this every year, again, from now on.

Ryan Scott Ottney may be reached at 740-353-3101, ext. 287, or rottney@civitasmedia.com. For breaking news, follow Ryan on Twitter @PDTwriter.