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25th annual School Supply Train preps Longview children for school

The Junior League of Longview’s School Supply Train chugged along Saturday for its 25th year, providing supplies, uniform shirts and shoes for 2,000 children.

Hundreds of parents lined the sidewalks as early as 4:45 a.m. Saturday outside First Baptist Church’s Recreation Outreach Center, event chair Blythe Martin said. Co-chair Heather Wimberly said 20 Junior League members filled backpacks with school supplies for “two weeks straight.”

Gabrielle McAlister woke up early to drive from Ore City. She said this is her fourth year getting supplies for her five children, ranging in age from 5 to 18.

“It tremendously helps. That’s for sure with five kids. Even with two (children), it’s hard to get the supplies I need. ... School supplies are expensive,” she said.

According to a Women & Co. study, parents living in the southern U.S. spend $51 per child for school supplies.

Buckner Family Hope Center in Longview Director Susan Williams hopes Saturday’s event supplied parents with what they needed for their children, and she wants them to know they have support.

“I hope (parents) feel encouraged. I hope they see their community is with them. ... We want them to know that they’re not in it alone, that we’re all in this together and we want to make them feel supported,” she said. Read more in the Longview News-Journal.

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