VBS in Lufkin, TX

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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.

Winter Storm Relief

North and East Texas was hit by winter storms and tornados on Wednesday evening, December 23. In Lufkin, TX, The Salvation Army supplied meals on Christmas Eve to 60 individuals and made plans to provide gifts on Christmas Day to children housed in the Southside Baptist shelter. 258 homes were damaged and 58 homes destroyed when a tornado struck the city. About 3,500 homes and businesses were without power after 30 utility poles toppled in the storm.

Salvation Army mobile feeding kitchens from Tyler and Longview were deployed on Wednesday evening. Longview reported tornado damage to 4 homes and many more commercial buildings.

The small city of Burkburnett, near Wichita Falls, unexpectedly received 8 inches of snow in a matter of hours. Local residents were cut off by the snow and The Salvation Army responded by arranging a charge account for meals with a local grocery store.

The Salvation Army continues to work closely with DPS authorities across the Panhandle as they assist with stranded drivers in the winter weather.

Walmart Bellringing Day

 

 

 

December 17 – 7 am to 8 pm

An idea that began with the Salvation Army and one Walmart store in Houston has now snowballed into a partnership that will involve more than 120 store locations across Central Texas. Walmart Red Kettles from Waco, Austin, College Station, Lufkin, Beaumont, Houston and everywhere in between will be manned by volunteer Walmart Associates on December 17 from 7 a.m. until 8 p.m. Many thanks to Walmart Associates for this volunteer effort.