Groups collecting school supplies for needy kids

By FAITH HUFFMAN | News-Telegram News Editor

July 2, 2007 - If you're one of the many parents who could use a little extra help making sure your children have the supplies they will need for school this year, Heroines of Jericho Court 490 and the Columbia Lodge No. 81, in conjunction with Texas 211, could be the answer to your worries.

Families who receive Medicaid, food stamps or TANF and can provide proof of services are eligible to apply for free supplies for their children. Registration will be conducted from July 1 through July 31. Children eligible to receive supplies must be enrolled in prekindergarten through eighth grade.

Parents interested in applying for assistance may do so by either dialing 2-1-1 or stopping by the Hopkins County Community Action Network's CAN Help building at 525 Church St., where Texas 211 is located, to register.

2-1-1 Texas will notify the Lodge and Heroines of needs as they are reported, and Heroines and Lodge members will keep a running tally to determine needs and procure those supplies as they come in.

Columbia Lodge and Heroines of Jericho will present the free school supplies in a special "Gearing up for School" bash from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 11, just prior to the start of school, at Pacific Park. The event will also include free hot dogs and drinks, door prizes, fund and games. In order to receive supplies and participate in the back to school bash, families must be preregistered through 211 or at the CAN Help building, before July 31.

The Columbia Masonic Lodge No. 81 and Heroines of Jericho will be accepting donations of school supplies and monetary donations until just before the bash. If enough money is available, they would also like to be able to extend the drive to offer some new clothes for needy children to start the school year.

Anyone interested in donating supplies or contributing monetarily to the school supply drive may contact Robbin Vaughn at 903-885-8041, ext. 244.

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