A total of 609 students from all over Fannin County received free school supplies on August 10 to start the new school year, thanks to a generous community. This year marked the 23rd year that the Fannin County Children’s Center has provided school supplies to needy children and youth. The number of students served this year was more than in the last four years.
New this year, other organizations were invited to set up tents and tables in front of the center to give out other free resources and information. Five local hairstylists volunteered their time to cut hair for 101 students. Alex Kennedy played the guitar and sang while families visited with all the community organizations.
Feeding Fannin Mobile Food Pantry gave out lots of fresh strawberries and more than 1,000 apples. First United Methodist Church gave away around 6,000 diapers, plus some hygiene kits, feminine hygiene products and deodorant. Bonham ISD had staff on hand to sign up students for Head Start, Pre-K and free and reduced lunches. King Trail Cowboy Church brought their chuck wagon and cooked up 300 breakfast burritos and 200 hotdogs. This same church and Kwik Chek also provided ample supplies of bottled water, which volunteers handed out to people waiting in line for school supplies. Bonham Smiles gave out many free toothbrushes.
Bonham Police Department and Fannin County Sheriff Office were both on hand, visiting with kids and families and giving out safety information and stickers. Several organizations gave out information about the programs and services they offer, including Kool Lunches, Getting Ahead Program, Fannin County Family Crisis Center, TAPS, Cigna, 211 Texas Area Information Center, Bonham Mosaic Church, Carevide, Fannin County 4-H, Lannius Church of God Food Pantry, Maximus, McCraw Oil, TCOG and Texoma Health Foundation.
“What an amazing community effort this was!” said Sandy Barber of the Fannin County Children’s Center. “Our hard-working volunteers and staff, combined with our generous community, made sure so many kids have school supplies to start the new school year. We were thrilled to have more than 20 community partners also brave the heat in order to provide free haircuts as well as more free items, resources, services and information.”
The mission of the Children’s Center is promoting safety and improving the lives of abused and neglected children. In addition to the annual school supply drive, the center operates CASA, Children’s Advocacy Center and child abuse prevention programs.