Back To School

Needy students receive school supplies from The Salvation Army

Brand-new pencils, colorful erasers, pristine notebooks—even new uniforms, backpacks, and shoes: These are the things that delight most Texas schoolchildren about returning to school. But for those children whose families can’t afford their back-to-school supplies, the start of a new year can be an uncomfortable experience.

“Everyone notices when your shoes have holes and when the teacher has to give you pencils and stuff,” one youngster tells us.

The list of required school supplies seems to be ever growing and can be a real financial concern for families, particularly those with multiple school-age children. For example, a Kindergartener is expected to arrive on the first day with a backpack, pencils, crayons, glue sticks, an eraser, a box of tissues, broad-tip markers, a pair of scissors, pencil case, and a spiral bound notebook. A student entering the 12th Grade needs almost 30 items including binders, a scientific calculator, geometry set, pocket dictionary, a thesaurus, highlighter pens, and a stapler, to name but a few.

Salvation Army locations throughout Texas are “Doing the Most Good” by coming alongside families to help furnish these essential school supplies. A snapshot of assistance provided includes Salvation Army locations in Borger (40 children), Killeen (325), Freeport (200), Lufkin (1,000), and Big Spring (350).

Partners of The Salvation Army are also stepping up to the plate to provide back-to-school assistance. On Tuesday, Aug. 10, more than 12,000 students in need will have the opportunity to visit Target stores nationwide and purchase must-have supplies as part of the Target School Spree. Each child, selected by The Salvation Army, will be awarded an $80 Target Gift Card to purchase much-needed back-to-school supplies. Target awarded all 40 of The Salvation Army divisions nationwide a total of $960,000 worth of Target Gift Cards for the shopping sprees. Nearly 500 Target stores will participate in the one-day Target School Spree event in select regions across the country. All participants will be given a reusable Target shopping bag and be paired with a volunteer chaperone for their fun day of back-to-school shopping.

New shoes are another great need for the start of the school, and, thanks to the generosity of contributors to the Amarillo Globe News Empty Stocking Fund, the Amarillo Salvation Army anticipates providing shoe vouchers to 800 young people. Similar programs are in place in Abilene, where the Abilene Board of Realtors partner with The Salvation Army to provide more than 700 new pairs of shoes, and in Austin, the third annual Georgetown “Shoe-In,” which is underwritten by donors, expects to distribute 1,000 pairs of new tennis shoes.

Salvation Army locations throughout Texas will be delighted to accept your donations of school supplies. For more information about The Salvation Army please visit www.salvationarmyusa.org, call1-800-SAL-ARMY, or contact your local Salvation Army Corps.

About The Salvation Army

The Salvation Army, an evangelical part of the universal Christian church established in 1865, has been supporting those in need in His name without discrimination for 130 years in the United States. Nearly 30 million Americans receive assistance from The Salvation Army each year through the broadest array of social services that range from providing food for the hungry, relief for disaster victims, assistance for the disabled, outreach to the elderly and ill, clothing and shelter to the homeless and opportunities for underprivileged children. 81 cents of every dollar spent is used to carry out those services in 5,000 communities nationwide.