Giveaways help make our city stronger

Published 8:04 pm Friday, July 25, 2014

When I learned that more than 700 people attended Edmundite Missions’ Slice of Hope event Tuesday, my appreciation for back-to-school drives grew.

The large crowd, which even surprised Edmundite CEO Chad McEachern, showed just how much members of this poverty-stricken community need opportunities to collect free supplies.

It’s no secret that school supplies can be expensive.

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Basic school supplies can cost about $40 for a John T. Morgan Academy 5th grade student and nearly $70 for a Valley Grande first grade student.

Parents struggling to afford school supplies can attend the Selma Police Department’s Back-to-school Festival/Cops and Kids Day set for Aug. 2 at Bloch Park from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. or the Black Belt Community Development Coalition’s Kid’s Day Out Fest Week scheduled for July 31 to August 2 at the Selma Mall for items.

I commend all groups or individuals who make an effort to eliminate all, if not some, of the financial stress of preparing for the new school year.

They are clearly doing what we all should do, which is helping the entire area. We may not be blood related, but we should form a bond just as strong.

I can’t help but smile when I think of all of the kids that can now go to school without feeling upset, sad or left out, because they don’t have all they need for school.

Some might not feel much pressure to host or contribute to school supplies events, because teachers may have the compassion to purchase the material with their own money for students whose parents could not afford it.

Teachers should not be the ones to bear that burden, because they do more than enough by educating students.

Not only do the groups hosting these events deserve praise, but those who support it do also. These events require plenty of donations, whether it’s monetary or school supplies from the public.

I hope that the community understands that its charitable actions create a better Selma.

If it weren’t for those giving people, more than 700 wouldn’t have walked away from Edmundite’s Slice of Hope event with useful material.

We are helping children get a quality education that can lead to them becoming the future leaders of this community and maybe even the nation.

We have helped eliminate an obstacle that could easily prevent so many from enjoying school, which could result in students eventually quitting.

The event gives people a chance to encourage our youth about the importance of education and the positive impact it can have on them.

Thank you Selma for erasing our city’s issues, one school supplies drive at a time.