Back-to-school: Father, small business owner collects school supplies at shop for students in need

A father and small business owner knows this time of year can be a struggle for parents buying school supplies, so he put together a school supply drive -- and the community helped out.

News 12 Staff

Sep 1, 2022, 9:18 AM

Updated 613 days ago

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A Middletown father and small business owner knows this time of year can be a struggle for parents buying school supplies, so he put together a school supply drive -- and the community helped out.
You'll leave Ryan Schoentube's Fly Guys Barbershop with a fresh fade. But, he’s also always thinking about the kids. The entire summer, he collected school supplies at his shop for students in need -- that's a story all too familiar. 
“My dad had to work two, sometimes three, jobs around this time of the year just to give me and my siblings a decent Christmas and I know he was struggling,” says Schoentube. “So, I know how it feels to see your parents like that, and as a young kid, you don't realize what your parents are sacrificing just to keep you happy.”
What started as a cardboard box and a post on Facebook ended so much bigger.
“I can't even put an amount on it. The whole shop was filled,” says Schoentube. “We had notebooks, pens, pencils, highlighters, crayons, backpacks and headphones. We had a ton of headphones.”
Support from clients and people he's never even seen before.
“It shows you how many people cared and really showed they wanted to do something and give back,” says Schoentube.
Students at Joseph C. Caruso Elementary School in Keansburg will be using the supplies. Schoentube’s two young kids don't go to the school, but that's where he grew up.
“Now that I'm a little older, I see kids in the store and they are begging their parents for something and it breaks my heart to see that,” says Schoentube. “I know for a fact that dad or that mom can't afford to get this kid something and it hurts to see that.”
His upbringing shaped the person he is today.
“My father was very high on respect and greeting the janitor with the same respect you'll treat the CEO of the company,” says Schoentube. “Always say hello. Always shake a man's hand, look him in the eye. It was a complete honor and I'm so blown away and overwhelmed by the way the community came together when I put this drive together.
His dad had a big influence on his life, and his sister inspired him to put the school supply drive together.
Family is everything to him -- his cousin even helped fix up the barber shop that opened two years ago. From his Facebook, it looks like they will be doing a drive for Thanksgiving and Christmas.


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