Project Supply Our Schools collecting school supplies for Nacogd - KTRE.com | Lufkin and Nacogdoches, Texas

Project Supply Our Schools collecting school supplies for Nacogdoches County students

Greater East Texas Community Action’s Karen Swenson, (left) and Project Supply Our Schools ElaRuth McCullough (right) are celebrating 25 years of helping families with their school supply needs. (Source: KTRE Staff) Greater East Texas Community Action’s Karen Swenson, (left) and Project Supply Our Schools ElaRuth McCullough (right) are celebrating 25 years of helping families with their school supply needs. (Source: KTRE Staff)
Project SOS co-chair Gini Blackwell has seen school supplies go up every year in the 18 years she’s been buying for Project SOS. (Source: KTRE Staff) Project SOS co-chair Gini Blackwell has seen school supplies go up every year in the 18 years she’s been buying for Project SOS. (Source: KTRE Staff)
Fill the Bus gives donors an opportunity to donate supplies and monetary donations. It’s August 11 in the Nacogdoches Wal-Mart parking lot. (Source: KTRE Staff) Fill the Bus gives donors an opportunity to donate supplies and monetary donations. It’s August 11 in the Nacogdoches Wal-Mart parking lot. (Source: KTRE Staff)
NACOGDOCHES, TX (KTRE) -

Project Supply Our Schools has spent the last 25 years making sure every student attending public schools in Nacogdoches County has access to school supplies. 

A week from today Project SOS is hosting Fill The Bus. It's where donors can drop off school supplies or make a cash donation. The need for supplies has gone right up with the cost.  

East Texas News went shopping with those who know.

For two and a half decades, Greater East Texas Community Action leaders are the first in Nacogdoches to buy school supplies. They're shopping for Project Supply Our Schools and next week's Fill the Bus.

Senior accountant Gini Blackwell is good at spotting quality at a bargain.  

"These are 97-cents,” Blackwell said. “That's a really good price for twenty pencils."

Twenty-five years ago, Project SOS founder ElaRuth McCullough collected pencils from her home for students. 

The caring educator used co-workers’ monetary donations to buy other school supplies and Community Action director Karen Swenson came on board.

"I managed to get enough with the social workers, and we got Karen involved and used my husband's van and just hauled it around to just Nacogdoches ISD schools,” McCullough said.

Today, school supply deliveries are conducted county wide.

"School districts tell us about 50 percent of their students benefit from this drive,” said Karen Swenson, the executive director of Greater East Texas Community Action.

Last year, a record $15,000 was raised. Blackwell spends it wisely, while prices continue to go up with need. 

"A child needs a one subject notebook. You got this choice 25-cents,” Blackwell said. Last year this was 17-cents, but then you jump over here, these are 67-cents and then you've got 97-cents and then there's some that are $1.97."

Ten cents, 20 cents. It adds up fast for a parent with multiple children. Next week's Fill the Bus will give donors another opportunity to contribute.
"It's just a matter of what you want to do to help kids out,’ McCullough said.

Fill the Bus is a week from today on August 11 at the Nacogdoches Wal-Mart.  Supplies and monetary donations will be accepted from ten to six. 

That Friday is the beginning of tax free weekend, so supplies can be purchased at a bargain.

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