Help start the 2020-21 school year off right
Jacksonville Chamber of Commerce Education Division Chair Pam Anderson, far right, recently accepts a $1,000 donation from the Jacksonville Kiwanis Club for the Back 2 School project. Also pictured, from left, are Kiwanians Karen Nolley, Judy Batton and Tabatha Baker Ainsworth.
While the 2020-21 school year looks like it’ll bring lots of changes, thanks to the pandemic, one aspect of back-to-school remains the same – students still need supplies and school-appropriate clothing.
A trio of local non-profits are again stepping in to help fill those needs.
Since Jacksonville ISD utilizes a standardized dress code, the Clothes Closet & More is currently collecting dress code appropriate clothing for students of all ages for its ‘Outfitting for the Future’ back-to-school clothes shopping event.
“Our goal is to provide five complete, new or gently used outfits for each student,” Closet Director Mickey Gear posted on the organization’s Facebook page. “We serve at least 300 students each year, equaling about 1,500 sets of clothing. We also provide shoes, belts and lunch kits to as many students as possible but our supplies are very limited. We gratefully accept new or gently used clothing and monetary donations.”
Shopping opportunities start Wednesday, July 15 at the Clothes Closet, 314 S. Main St., Jacksonville, and will be offered throughout the school year. Hours are 9 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Wednesdays through Saturdays.
“Because of the challenges of the Coronavirus we will not hold a single, one-day event,” Gear stated. “An appointment would be appreciated since only one family at a time can go into the uniform room. You can still come in without an appointment but those with one will be taken at their scheduled time. Students must be present for fittings. We are praying that this will be a success and everyone can get the things needed.”
Call (903) 586-0204 to make an appointment or a donation. Monetary donations may also be made through the Clothes Closet’s Facebook page.
Jacksonville Chamber of Commerce’s annual Back 2 School project is providing 700 backpacks filled with grade appropriate school supplies to JISD students, too.
“This year – because of the Coronavirus -- rather than have a fair, drive organizers are divvying up the 700 backpacks full of supplies between all JISD campuses,” Chamber Education Division Chair Pam Anderson said. “School officials will make sure the students who need them, get them.”
Donations are still being accepted. Call the Jacksonville Chamber, (903) 586-2217, to donate supplies or funds.
Officials with Rusk’s Tree of Promise are seeking sponsors and support for the annual More than a Backpack school supply drive – which provides Rusk ISD students with backpacks full grade-appropriate school supplies.
“With more than 60 percent of the Rusk student population on free lunches, providing the resources to achieve academic success is a must,” Tree of Promise Executive Director Pat Hardy said. “Thanks to the support of businesses and organization leaders, for the last five years we have been able to provide more than 2,200 sets of school supplies to the children of Rusk.”
This year’s supply drive goal is $13,000 – which would outfit at least 400 students with supplies for the 2020-21 school year.
Deadline to donate funds or supplies is Friday, July 17. Those interested in donating supplies can contact the Tree of Promise, to let them know what supplies will be provided. Email Hardy, firstname.lastname@example.org, to donate.
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