Many of us can feel the stress of all the things needed to head back to school, but for some, that stress weighs them down emotionally and financially. Buckner programs across Texas spent the last few weeks looking for ways to support families and ease that burden.
According to CNBC, an average family with children in elementary through high school will spend almost $900 on back-to-school items this year. And with the help of many community collaborators, Buckner families were given a little breather from that financial cost.
“Going back to school is exciting, but also stressful for parents, teachers and children,” shared Lindsay Miller, director of administration and operations for Buckner Children and Family Services in Dallas and Fort Worth. “For families served through Buckner, it’s such a joy to lift the financial and time burden of school supply shopping so they can focus their energy in other areas of Buckner services like counseling, occupational training or skills classes.”
West Texas families head back to school with support and supplies
In Midland, 27 Buckner families attended a back-to-school bash hosted by Crestview Baptist Church. More than 60 children enjoyed fun summer activities like face painting, cornhole and bounce houses. The backpack and school supplies supported families in the Buckner Family Hope Center® program, Buckner Family Pathways® as well as foster care and adoption.
Buckner Lubbock families enjoyed an event featuring Spiderman and Aerocare, helicopter and fixed wing air medical transport. Tyler Technologies hosted the back-to-school fun and provided 62 backpacks full of school supplies for children, young adults and single moms.
Both Houston and Dallas megacities offered megafun to prepare for back-to-school
Single parents, foster families and vulnerable children across Dallas attended distributions to receive support. In July, the Family Hope Center at the Texas Rangers MLB Youth Academy hosted their annual school supply distribution.
More than 1,000 pairs of shoes and 600 backpacks were given to families at the Family Hope Center at Bachman Lake distribution hosted by Northway Church. And foster families attended a resource fair with school supplies available at the Buckner Children and Family Services Dallas campus.
Through the 2023 Aramark Building Community Back-to-School Grant, backpacks were purchased to support families across Buckner programs in Dallas.
In Houston, the Family Hope Center at Aldine distributed all the school supply needs to nearly 500 people. Attendees received backpacks full of school supplies, new shoes and socks, books, community resources and food. Kids even enjoyed a gaming truck!
Down the road, Family Hope Center and Family Pathways families at Reed Road attended a resource fair featuring food, haircuts, immunizations and back-to-school necessities. Almost 300 people attended and children received backpacks, shoes and socks, as well as hygiene packs and uniforms.
Halliburton donated and packed 650 backpacks that were distributed at both Houston events.
More than 1,000 kids impacted in the Valley
For the annual backpack distribution in the Rio Grande Valley, Wonderful Citrus volunteers packed and distributed 1,200 backpacks filled with school supplies at the Rio Grande Children’s Home campus to families involved with the Family Hope Center and FAYS programs, as well as those in the local community.
And on the other side of the state, Buckner programs in East Texas had plenty of back-to-school fun
Buckner Lufkin hosted a Back-to-School Bonanza in collaboration with the Junior League of Lufkin. The distribution was done drive-thru style and the first 200 cars received goody bags filled with fun gifts and information on Buckner programs. More than 300 families attended – with 980 students receiving needed supplies.
Lufkin churches, businesses and service organizations joined together to fill 2,400 backpacks with school supplies and impact nearly 2,500 students in the area.
In Longview, Buckner hosted their annual School Supply Train with First Baptist Church. Nearly 1,000 backpacks filled with supplies as well as shoes were given to those participating in Buckner programs and those in need in the surrounding community.
“It truly does take a village to raise a child and we’re thankful for those in the communities across Texas who help us provide school supplies as part of the village of support for these parents working to strengthen their family as a whole,” Miller said.