On Friday, August 16, 2013, I had the privilege of serving as a volunteer at the Supply Train event at First Baptist Church of Longview under the leadership of Jane Ann Crowson, Director of the Buckner Family Hope Center in Longview. This event was a collaborative effort between Buckner, the Longview Junior League, and First Baptist Church of Longview. Plans were made to serve about 3,200 people, families primarily, with new backpacks, shoes, school uniform shirts, haircuts, and hygiene supplies to prepare for the new school year.
I met students from Longview High School, all in the International Baccalaureate Program, serving as volunteers in the Junior League of Longview. They were assisting with the distribution of backpacks.
Three volunteers travelled with me to Longview to participate in this event: Aracely Perez, Director of Organizational Effectiveness; Rocio Lopez, Coordinator of Reporting and Statistical Analysis for Buckner International Operations; and Amber Luckey, Coordinator of Support Services for the Dallas Children’s Campus.
I was overwhelmed at the need presented that day. I visited with many families that are truly struggling to provide for their children. One mother travelled as far as 2 hours to receive supplies and another mother was in line at the church as early as 3 am to wait until 8 am for school supplies. The need for support was aptly met by an army of volunteers from the Buckner Missions Team in Dallas led by Susan Williams, volunteers from First Baptist Church of Longview, staff from Buckner Longview and Buckner Westminster Retirement Community; the Junior League and others willing to help families prepare for another academic year.
Buckner was at her best today…Shining Hope into lives of children and families.