For many families in Montgomery County, mid-summer is a time when children anxiously await the posting of the list of required school supplies, as they look forward to picking out new backpacks, binders, and other items. Unfortunately, for other families, equipping their children with the necessary tools is a tremendous financial burden that can be difficult, if not impossible. Precinct 4 has a large number of such households, which is why Judge James Metts and Constable Rowdy Hayden have launched their 9th annual Precinct 4 School Supply Drive.
As always, donations benefit elementary school students in East Montgomery County where Judge Metts and Constable Hayden are not only public servants, but lifelong residents who each chose to raise their own families there. A total of 21 schools will be included this year, which sets a new record and will require two days for delivery. Additional schools were added to the list of recipients of supplies this year, at the request of officials with schools that don’t lie within Precinct 4, but are still in what’s considered East Montgomery County, and filled with students from struggling families.
The number of contributions has grown each year, just as the area’s population continues to grow. However, one thing hasn’t changed, and that’s the giving spirit that has always made the school supply drive a success.
“Some people are doing well and can make a larger donation, but a great deal of what’s collected comes from folks who are on a fixed income and can only give 5 or 10 dollars. They may not truly have it to spare, but they still want to help the children,” Metts said. “There’s a strong sense of community here, and people are still willing to help one another, even if they’re strangers.”
The judge said teachers, counselors, and other school employees often spend their own money to purchase supplies for children, and at times, school staff members have become emotional upon seeing the donations arrive because of how much they’re needed.
“No child should ever have to be embarrassed because their family can’t afford what their school requires,” Judge Metts said. “We have many single parent families, families where grandparents on Social Security or Disability have taken responsibility for their grandchildren, as well as families where parents are unemployed or simply aren’t making enough to make ends meet. That’s not something a child should have to think about.”
Constable Hayden said he was again glad to be a part of the annual effort.
“This is a very important program that will make things easier not only for the students and their families, but for the teachers and other school district employees who have spent their own money in the past to make sure children who they don’t even know have supplies,” Constable Hayden said. “
Donations of unused school supplies, or monetary contributions, will be accepted from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Thursday, at the JP4 Office, located at 22354 Justice Dr. in New Caney (behind the East Montgomery County Annex). Please make checks out to James Metts. Donations of any amount are welcomed.
Among the needed items are:
Backpacks (no wheels)
Wide Rule paper (composition books and loose leaf)
Folders with pockets and brads (solid colors, no pictures)
Crayons (8 count or 24 count – no jumbo size)
Kleenex (large size)
Ziplock bags (variety of sizes)
School supply boxes
9×12 manila paper
9×12 construction paper
Black Expo dry erase markers
(Monetary donations will be used to purchase supplies prior to distribution.)
For more information, call 281-577-8970