Advocate Editorial Board opinion: Packing bus is more than buying crayons

By the Advocate Editorial Board
Aug. 8, 2013 at 3:08 a.m.

Temperatures may still be climbing, but children across the nation are getting ready to say goodbye to summer - or at least vacation.

Soon, students will be filing back into their classrooms for another year of learning. Along with new classes, students will need new supplies for the coming year. That means families will soon be hitting the stores to purchase notebooks, crayons, markers, pens, pencils, glue, paper and a myriad of other necessary items. As the shopping carts fill up, parents are once again reminded of just how expensive school supplies can be.

For a lot of families, buying supplies is not a major issue or can be accomplished with a little planning and budgeting. But for others, purchasing the items their children need is difficult, if not impossible. That is why we are glad to see Faith Family Church's Pack the Bus campaign return for another year in Victoria.

Faith Family Church started the Pack the Bus program back in 2001, according to the program's website, and started by giving out 250 backpacks. Last year, the program gave school supplies to more than 2,000 students, and this year's goal is to help 3,000, according to Mark Longoria, Faith Family's Outreach director.

This year, both H-E-B and H-E-B Plus! will set up school buses for residents to drop off donated school supplies from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Friday and Saturday. If residents miss the bus, the church is also accepting donations in the main lobby until Aug. 17, when the supplies will be distributed.

Families with children who need help getting supplies may register at Faith Family Church at 2002 Mockingbird Lane and the VISD administrative offices at 102 Profit Drive until Aug. 15. Only a parent or legal guardian of a child may apply to receive school supplies.

We encourage Victoria and Crossroads residents to take part in this worthy effort. If every person brought just one item, whether it is a 50 cent pencil or a 100-pack of markers or crayons, the 3,000 student goal will be easily attainable.

We applaud Faith Family Church for continuing this annual tradition of giving and sharing to help promote the joy of learning. Education is an important, essential tool in today's society, and we applaud any effort to encourage students and enable access to learning tools. Thank you to each and every person who helped by donating items, volunteering to take part in this program or taking any action at all to encourage learning. This effort reminds us that we are part of a caring community, and we are grateful for all the efforts put into helping others.

As the school buildings open, we hope every student can start the year with a full backpack and a positive attitude. Welcome back to school. We hope you have everything you need.

This editorial reflects the views of the Victoria Advocate's editorial board.



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