Local organizations help kids prepare for school

Jessi HawkinsVolunteer Spotlight

SPRINGFIELD, Mo. – Many in the community dropped off scissors, paper and other schools supplies to Chick-Fil-A on Glenstone Monday night. James River Church along with Chick-Fil-A hosted the eighth annual Stuff the Bus.

“It helps the students get exactly what they need for learning,” Josh Longanecker, Director of Church and Community Care at James River Church, said. “We believe the community should be a better place because the local church is here. We believe the local church is the hope for the world.”

This year, Longanecker explained they partnered with a community wide initiative through Springfield Public Schools, called Ready. Set. Supply! He says this will ensure each student receives supplies on their list.

“One of our big goals is to make every kid feel like they are just like everyone else,” Bev Smith, Marketing Director at Chick-Fil-A Glenstone, said.

Brother and sister team, Arden and Jude Parker, brought backpacks full of supplies.

“We usually every year go to Walmart, to pick out our school supplies and when we do that, we do the Stuff the Bus school supplies too,” Arden Parker said.

Arden Parker says it makes her feel very happy to give back.

James River Church will have buses set up on Sat., Aug. 4 at area Walmart Super-centers if you would like to donate supplies.

Least of These in Ozark also stays very busy during this time of year. Director of Development, Kristy Carter, says many families are in search of back to school clothes.

“Our racks are bare,” Carter said. “This may be the only chance for their kiddos to have new clothes to them.”

Carter says they are in need of new underwear, socks, pants and shoes for boys and girls.

If you would like to donate clothes, you can drop them off Mon., Wed. and Fri. from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. at:

1720 James River Road
Ozark, MO

Or if you would like to donate financially you can visit: www.leastofthesefoodpantry.org/donate.html