The school year is approaching quickly and that means it’s time to buy things like new pencils, notebooks and backpacks for kids in the Jacksonville area.
Several groups are helping to prepare children to return to the classroom, and among them is the Jacksonville Lions Club. Lions club members were at the Jacksonville Wal-Mart on Friday and Saturday, and will return on Friday (August 4) and Saturday(August 5) to collect donations for students in Jacksonville District 117 as well as Lafayette Academy.
Jim Barber, chairman of the club’s School Supplies Project, said the group has been involved in the effort for the past 13 years.
“Years ago we decided we could help the kids, especially the poverty level kids. There’s a lot of people that can’t afford to buy school supplies, so we started gathering (school supplies). Everything we gather we turn into the District 117 Central Office, and it goes into a big store room there and is (then) delivered to all eight schools plus Lafayette Academy. They divide it all up equally to all of the schools that need it.”
Barber said in order for the children to have a good education, they need to have good tools. “Nowadays school is not like when I went to school…they need notebooks, calculators, backpacks, and all the rest that goes with it and it gets expensive when you have two or three kids.”
Barber said in addition to collecting donated school supplies at Wal-Mart, the Lions Club has donation boxes set up at the Dollar General and Family Dollar stores as well.
Questions or additional information can be directed to Barber at (217) 883-2168.