Coming together for our Back-to-School Supply drive

Some Central Texas families and individuals continue to experience daily challenges that threaten their wellbeing. The back-to-school season can place a tremendous burden on families experiencing lost wages and looming evictions, as they are forced to choose between paying bills or making sure their kids have the tools needed for educational success.

To meet the need, The Salvation Army is working with Walmart to to collect school supplies for area children in need during the annual Stuff the Bus event from Friday, August 6 to Sunday, August 8 at the Sunset Valley Walmart location. Shoppers can purchase and drop off items at collection bins at the front the store or donate online.

The Austin Area Command will also host a school supply distribution event at 4700 Manor Rd. on August 13 from noon-3 p.m. This is on a first come, first serve basis with no guarantee of supplies.

There are thousands of children heading back to school in Central Texas this month, and some of them won’t have the basic supplies needed to succeed,” said Major Lewis Reckline, Commander of  The Salvation Army Austin. “By donating school supplies for a child in need, you can empower families to start the school year on the right foot. It’s the boost of confidence they need after a challenging year.”

Walmart and The Salvation Army have partnered for more than 30 years to meet community needs through a range of social services, helping individuals and families overcome poverty and economic hardships.

Back to School Drive gives kids the tools they need to succeed

Julianna was exhausted after a long journey from South America. She had endured poverty and persecution for years before making the difficult decision to leave. She was a single mother of two young boys. She did not speak English, have a job, or a place to live, but she wanted to start over in Texas. She needed a place to reset her entire existence and found it at The Rathgeber Center for Families.

After months of hard work and guidance from her case manager, Julianna’s plan for self-sufficiency was coming together. She secured a part-time job and enrolled her kids in school. And while her income covered some of the family’s necessities, it couldn’t account for everything.

Her boys, Arturo and Martin, had a long supply list from their school: three-ring binders, pencils, pens, highlighters, dry-erase markers, backpacks, index cards, and more. According to the annual National Retail Federation (NRF) survey, families with elementary, middle, and high school children spend an average of $348 per household out of their own pockets to purchase supplies for the upcoming school year. She didn’t have enough money to buy everything on the list.

Julianna knew about the annual Back to School Drive for children living in The Salvation Army’s two family emergency shelters. Using those resources, she was able to equip both sons with the necessary supplies to begin the school year.

You can help parents like Julianna by donating to The Salvation Army’s Back to School Drive. Find out more.

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