A number of organizations in Madisonville are committed to assisting local youth in obtaining all of their necessary school supplies, allowing them to focus solely on their education at the start of the fall term.
“Pushing Education” and the Madison Health Resource Center will each offer school supplies for the second straight year after successful projects in 2018.
Darwin Washington, a 2007 graduate of Madisonville High School, began the “Pushing Education” Project in 2018 as the first step in a large plan to give back to his community.
“It was something I have been thinking about for 10 years now and I decided to give it a try last year after conversations with different people I consider family and friends,” said Washington. “The first attempt was a success in my eyes and this year I am looking to double what we accomplished.”
“Pushing Education” provided school supplies to 150 underprivileged kids in 2018. The majority of last year’s financial support was internal and Washington stressed that increasing their number to 300 would not be possible without the generous donations from the community.
The school supplies will be given to the students at an event at Marian Anderson Park on Aug. 10. There will be lunch and entertainment for the entire family, including a moon bounce, concession stands and a kickball tournament. The project is striving to increase parental involvement moving forward.
“I know the potential of the kids around here and I know that there are not always that many resources,” said Washington. “This is just the beginning. Eventually, I want to try things like taking kids on college tours or starting a big brother program for kids that need mentors or lack father figures. It is just the begging, I have a lot of plans.”
If you have any questions about the organization, contact Washington at 979-997-4396 or email@example.com.
The Madison Health Resource Center will also offer free school supplies for the second straight year in partnership with KMVL and the Son Shine Center. The second annual Health and Safety Day will take place at the Kimbro Center on Aug. 1 and feature a number of vendors with information on education, screenings and demonstrations on how to improve health and well-being as well as the school supplies.
“We had such a great turnout last year,” said Lara Meece, Executive Director of Grimes Health Resource Center and Madison Health Resource Center. “I had seen how successful it was in other counties and it was desperately needed here. There are other organizations giving out school supplies, but I feel that the health fair aspect of it is very important. The parents may not know that these services are available to them, so it is a way to help out those families in need and also give them some useful information.”
The following organizations will have tables set up at the event:
Strengthening Families, 2-1-1, AAA Texas, Project STEP, Texas C-Step, DSHS, Maximus, CHI Madison St. Joseph, MCH Family Outreach, Superior Health, Lone Star Legal Aid, Workforce Solutions, The Rose, Emergency Management, Twin City - Family Support, SARC, BVFP - Nutrition Education, BCBS of Texas, Telehealth Counseling Center, WIC and BVFB - Benefits Assistance.
Some of the organizations will supply school supplies, but the majority will come from outside donations from the community. Pre-K through high schoolers are welcome to attend and the student must be present in order to receive supplies.
For more information, call the Madison County Health Resource Center at 936-349-0714. The event will begin at 4 p.m. on Aug 1. and last until all of the supplies are gone.
Madisonville Consolidated School District, meanwhile, will continue their longstanding “Stuff the Bus’ program on Aug. 3 in the Walmart parking lot. The program allows community members to come by throughout the day and donate supplies or funds for supplies.
The monetary donations for supplies will be distributed evenly through the four MCISD campuses. The supplies themselves will be distributed appropriately based on need.
“We have received such an overwhelming response from people who are willing to help,” said Madisonville Intermediate Principal Tawnya Nail. “We have several organizations that we are able to call on throughout the year if there is something that comes up that we need for a student.”
The supplies will be collected at the event itself but not distributed. To receive supplies, parents or guardians of those students in need can contact their specific campus and inform the administration.
The event will take place in the Walmart parking lot on Aug. 3 from 8 a.m. until 2 p.m. Representatives from each campus will work the bus and tables in shifts. MHS cheerleaders will also be in attendance to promote the event.