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Valley. “To see the smiling faces and feel the excitement when they receive a new pair of shoes is truly amazing. When a child feels good about themselves, they feel hopeful for a brighter future.” A line of people wrapped around First Baptist Church in Longview before the sun rose in anticipation of receiving school supplies. When the double doors opened at 8 a.m., parents and children smiled as they streamed in to get pencils, pens and other supplies.


After the families picked up backpacks full of items, they moved to a room where children received new shoes collected by Buckner Shoes for Orphan Souls®


.


Children’s eyes lit up as they held their often brightly colored shoes.


Seeing their response affected those who volunteered to help the back-to-school effort, dubbed the School Supply Train. “We’ve been involved in Buckner ministries for nearly 20 years,” said vol- unteer Susan Henry. “This is something I look forward to every year – interacting with the people Buckner is helping and providing a really basic need for people in Longview who need it.”


Kristin Reynolds, a member of the Junior League of Longview, handed out backpacks. As a newcomer to Longview, the drive was a way she could be part of the community. “I feel like the community has given so


much to me and has welcomed me into the community,” she said. “This is my way to give back.”


At the Back to School Bash at Crestview Baptist Church in Midland, school supplies were given to more than 100 vulnerable children served through Buckner foster care and Family Pathways ministries. Children and their families participated in games, had their faces painted and jumped in a bounce house. Each child received a new pair of shoes, a backpack filled with school supplies and a new school uniform. Volunteers from Crest- view Baptist Church helped run the event as part of their #bethechurch initiative. “The Back to School Bash is a fun way to celebrate our families and prepare for a great year to come,” said Myndi Easter, gift officer for Buckner in the Permian Ba- sin. “We’re thrilled to be able to encourage these kids in their education and give them the supplies they need to be successful.”


More than 50 members of the motor- cycle club The Wolverines distributed school supplies to over 100 low-income children Aug. 15 at the Buckner Family Hope Center at Wynnewood in Dallas. The Hope Center currently cares for more than 100 vulnerable children in Dal- las through after-school and summer day camp services. The goal of the program is to address each child’s unique needs with love and compassion, creating a safe learning environment for children to grow in character and self-confidence. Every Buckner child enrolled in the Hope


Center’s after-school programs received school supplies for the upcoming year. “Many of the children who attend this


event come from difficult backgrounds and depend on the bash each summer for supplies to get them through the entire school year,” said Sarah Jones, ministry engagement coordinator for Buckner in Dallas. “The Wolverines go out of their way each year to prepare our kids for the upcoming academic year by ensuring every child has the tools they need to be successful while reminding them that they are valued and loved.”


–John Hall FALL 2015 ISSUE • Buckner Today 7


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