Group collecting school supplies for local youth

Published 6:00 pm Thursday, July 7, 2011

A local non-profit organization has begunthe newest of its programs to aid area children.

    “I’m just so excited about helping our kids,” said Janet Holmes,founder and director of the Bogue Chitto Community Women’sAuxiliary (BCCWA). “I run a home business, but this is morerewarding.

Subscribe to our free email newsletter

Get the latest news sent to your inbox

    The BCCWA has launched a school supply drive with the goal ofsupporting students who might not otherwise begin the upcomingschool year with the things they need.

    “We want to reach underprivileged kids,” Holmes said. “We want togive them an even start at the beginning of the school year.”

    Holmes has put a donation box at the Jimmy Furlow Senior CitizenCenter where contributions to the drive may be placed until July20. Donations of all school-related materials are accepted,including notebooks, paper, ink pens, pencils and calculators.

    The supply drive involves a joint effort of the Women’s Auxiliaryand the Furlow center. Once all donations have been collected,senior adult volunteers from the center will organize and helpdistribute the supplies.

    Parents may come to the center on July 29 to pick up items fromamong the collected supplies.

    Parents must their give name, address, number of children and theschools their children attend to receive supplies. Whatever remainswill be given to counselors at schools within the Lincoln CountySchool District to distribute.

    The supply drive builds on a summer reading program the BCCWAorganized last summer in partnership with the Bogue ChittoCommunity Center. Holmes wanted to simultaneously operate bothefforts last summer but was unable to do so.

    The supply drive and the reading program both help to fulfill theBCCWA’s mission: to encourage and aid the education ofchildren.

    “We prepare youth for good citizenship and leadership,” Holmessaid, describing the BCCWA’s mission. “We do not want to givechildren any excuses. We want to give them what they need tosucceed.”

    The program operates three fitness camps throughout the year. TheBCCWA was recently able to donate money directly to Lincoln Countyschools, including $2,000 to Bogue Chitto Attendance Center.

    This year, Holmes hopes to implement one of her major emphases ofmore parental participation within the BCCWA’s programs.

    But Holmes never stops planning. She hopes to have a scholarshipprogram ready by January. The program would give $500 apiece tothree local college-bound students.

    She is also concerned about the absence of a library in BogueChitto and wants to eventually address that issue.

    The work Holmes does with the BCCWA represents the fulfillment oflong time ambitions. Holmes finally founded the BCCWA in 2004 afterthe idea would not leave her.

    “I had pondered this for years. I couldn’t sleep sometimes, becauseI couldn’t dismiss it,” Holmes said. “Finally I started writingdown my ideas and goals. That’s when things started to happen.”