Aug 07 2014

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All Aboard: The school supply train is coming

Although the hot days of summer are still with us, school days will be here soon. This means that students and parents are beginning their annual search for school supplies and uniforms. The Junior League of Longview, Inc. is once again teaming up with Buckner Children and Family Services, First Baptist Church of Longview, and KVNE to assist underprivileged children with preparing for school.

The 21st Annual Junior League School Supply Train will be held Friday, August 15th to provide free school supplies, uniforms, and a new pair of shoes to area children who meet income eligibility requirements. The event location is the First Baptist Church’s Recreational Outreach Center (ROC) located at 209 E. South Street in Longview. Distribution will begin at 8:00 a.m. and will be ongoing until supplies last on Friday, August 15th.

Over the last 21 years, the Junior League of Longview, Inc. has pumped over $466,000 back into East Texas and provided school supplies for over 47,000 children. In its early days, the School Supply Train distributed the supplies in large paper bags donated from Brookshire’s Grocery Store. Buckner Family Services joined alongside the Junior League to screen eligible participants in 1995 and in 2003 First Baptist Church of Longview came aboard as well by providing their facility, The ROC, to host the event.

This year, the Junior League School Supply Train will provide backpacks stuffed with school supplies to over 3,200 children throughout Gregg County. The objective of the event is to give each child the ability to begin the new school year prepared to study. Any leftover supplies and uniforms will be distributed to area schools. In addition to the school supply distribution, there will be a limited number of free school uniform shirts in various sizes and colors for students who attend school which require uniforms. A wide selection of new shoes will be provided, as well as personal hygiene bags. We will also provide supply bags to local teachers, which they normally must purchase with their own funds. Also on site are free haircuts provided by local hairstylists.

The Junior League is proud to partner with a new local business, and we appreciate Ricky Ables with The Office Store, in Kilgore, whom made the ordering and delivery of supplies seamless. Julie Brantley with Academy has also been extremely supportive in our purchasing of uniforms. The Junior League of Longview, Inc. is overwhelmed to have such immeasurable community support with this project each year!

To receive the free supplies and uniforms, parents must bring a photo ID for themselves, proof of school enrollment of each child (such as a report card or schedule), and proof of the family’s household income, such as a pay stub, Medicaid card or letter of benefits received. The free and reduced lunch scales that schools use are the guideline for determining who is eligible for the free supplies and uniforms. The number of children in a family and any extenuating circumstances are also factors in determining participation.

Pre-screening will be required before the event. This year, Buckner will be handling this July 31 or August 1, by calling 903-757-9383. Please have an ID for the parent (Driver’s license or government issued ID), proof of school enrollment for each card (report card of schedule), and proof of family income (current pay stub, benefit letter or Medicaid card).


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