Event to offer free school supplies
David Ball – For The Record
Some Orange County students who may be short on some school supplies for the upcoming school year can receive some help thanks to some generous neighbors.
Local churches, area businesses, community organizations along with school districts are
partnering together to help ensure that the children and families of the community are
prepared in what they hope to succeed in the upcoming school year. Once again they are hosting Back To School Orange County from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. on Saturday, August 15 at Lamar State College Orange Student Center.
Organizer Steven Burks said this is the third year for the event. The first was held at Lions Den Park in Orange and last year’s was held at the Lamar State College-Orange Student Center.
“I started talking to my wife about this,” Burks said in how this event originated. “We wanted something bigger and bring it to the community. We prayed and contacted other churches. Community Church of Orange partnered the first year. We have 18 churches on the board so no child would go empty-handed.”
All parents or legal guardians must have valid ID, be present with the children and must bring proof of child’s enrollment in an Orange County school. Attendees may bring a Student ID – a report card or a letter from school.
Children who attend will receive free school supplies, books, backpacks, haircuts and immunizations provided by VaxANation for all children Pre-K – 18 years of age as well as the opportunity to take their picture with Batman, Captain America and other special guest stars. Vaccinations are free to students with CHIP and/or Medicaid (students must have a valid card present at the day of the event), otherwise the cost is $20 for one shot, $25 for two shots and $30 for three or more.
Burks said supplies are limited so students will be served on a first come, first served basis.
Back to School Orange County is a 501C3 Non Profit Organization that is under the Orange Christian Services umbrella.
Last year we had the ability to provide 1,256 bags of supplies, 72 free hair cuts, 70 Vision Screenings, 50 immunizations to 30 students, free children books, socks and underwear, backpacks to every child that attended were provided. Also, many families were connected to free services in Orange County. This year’s goal will be 1,500 packets for 1,500 children.
Thirty-nine organizations donated supplies last year.
Back to School Orange County may had never happen if the Texas Desktop Program had ended in 2011, according to Burks.
Businesses and NPOs were were contacted to fill the void.
“There was no way for getting school supplies to those in need,” he said. “A lot of churches were doing it (back to school drives) and competing with each other. We decided to do it together and it has grown.
“I saw there was such a need. It drew on my heartstrings. We could only make it bigger by partnering with others. We don’t want any kids left out and that we didn’t forget about them. I want to change the future for the next generation.”
For more information about this event contact (409) 886-0938 or visit
www.BacktoSchoolOrange.com or Facebook: BacktoSchoolOrange