orangeleader.com (Orange, Texas)

Local News

August 13, 2013

Coalition of organizations offers free back to school supply giveaway next week

ORANGE — Several organizations are on a mission to assist the youth of Orange County.

The Salvation Army of Orange County, along with a coalition of churches and businesses across the county, will hold a free back-to-school supply giveaway for the children of Orange County from 10 a.m. - 2 p.m., Saturday, Aug. 17, at Orange Lions Den Park located off Main Avenue in Orange.

According to Capt. Michael Cox of the Salvation Army, there is no shortage of organizations willing to help the children of the their respective communities but the need is greater than the reach and he hopes this combined effort will go a long way in extending that outreach.

“So many churches in Orange and across the county were doing this on an individual basis in the past. We were climbing over each others feet, so to speak,” Cox said. “We all have the same mission and that is to take care the people of Orange County. A lot of churches and businesses have combined forces to do this event. It’s just a group of Christians coming together to bless the children of Orange County.”

Cox estimates the separate events in 2012 assisted approximately 800 children across the county. He believes the event set for next Saturday will surpass that figure.

“There is a lot of need in our communities,” Cox added. “And that is why we are doing this.”

The school supplies will consist of pre-packaged items purchased from local stores. Cox said school supply lists were obtained and examined from each grade level of each school district in Orange County in preparation for the supply giveaway.

“We took an average of all the schools in Orange County and we met the minimum requirements. It really is just the basic things they need,” he explained. “Everything is pre-packaged. It’s a one shot opportunity for the children and their parents to get what they need.

The event also offers more than just a giveaway of school supplies. Cox said free socks and underwear will be available for children, as will free hair cuts, food and entertainment.

“We are really trying to make this something that will bring out the community,” he said.

Immunizations are part of the back to school routine and Cox said those will be available at Saturday’s event as well for a small fee, depending on the number of immunizations needed. One shot will be available for $20, two shots are $25 and three shots are $30 for those who need them.

Cox said there is still time for individuals and businesses to help make this year’s event a memorable one. Donations are still being accepted and are tax deductible.

“We used cash donations to purchase these school supply items for the kids,” he explained. “It was just more feasible that way than trying to piece together packages for the kids. It makes it easier for the parents and children too.”

A list of items per grade level is available for viewing online at www.backtoschoolorange.com, along with other valuable information.

“We would really like to see this grow and become bigger and better next year,” Cox added. “But we are focused on making this year’s event the best it can be and making sure the children of Orange County are taken care of for school.”

In case of inclement weather on Saturday, Aug. 17, the event will relocate from Orange Lions Den Park to West Orange-Stark Middle School on Green Avenue.

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