Hattiesburg JA prepares kids for school

By Colleen Donovan - bio | email | Twitter

HATTIESBURG, MS. (WDAM) - The Hattiesburg Junior Auxiliary has been supplying backpacks to Hub City area kids for the last 15 years, according to chapter President, Hope Andy.

"We supply the backpacks to the children, who when they come to school the first day, don't have backpack supplies," said Andy. "Parents did not have the funding or the means to get them supplied for school."

The organization focuses on improving the lives of children. Before school starts each summer, the Junior Auxiliary stuffs about 1,000 backpacks. This year the group in partnership with WDAM hopes to see that number grow.

"So that is what we are asking that on our backpack drive on July 30th that you come out and support and bring any glue, crayons, notebooks anything a child might need in first through sixth grade to start school," said Hope Andy.

Christie Dyess is the woman in charge of the Junior Auxiliary's backpack committee. She said they collect school supply lists from 15 area schools in Forrest and Lamar Counties. JA members then determine what the needs are in each grade.

"Well the best things are the things that they are picking up for their kids, if they can just pick up extras," said Dyess.

This project by the Junior Auxiliary is much more than simply collecting the necessary items kids need, it really makes a difference in student's lives. Malcolm Cobb knows this first hand. He is the Principal of Hawkins Elementary School in Hattiesburg.

"They all help us to provide our children with that support and the families with the support to be able to provide our children with what is necessary in order for them to start off the year to be successful," according to Cobb.

The school supply drive in Hattiesburg takes place Thursday, July 30th from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. at Strickland's Furniture off Highway 49.

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