Back-to-School made easier thanks to a community of giving

The back-to-school season has changed quite a bit from 20 or 30 years ago. School supply lists have grown from ones listing traditional supplies like crayons, glue, paper and some No. 2 pencils into something that resembles Santa’s wish list for the entire continent of North America.

Above, Officer McKenzie finger prints Jasmine as part of her safety kit. Below, he makes a presentation on bullying to the parents and children.


The classroom items needed and quantity requested are mindboggling these days—not to mention what all that does to the pocketbook. For those families that are struggling just to put food on the table, back-to-school time can be a real challenge.

As in years past, the social service offices of Sacred Heart Southern Missions have coordinated dress for success, backpack and school supply programs to help out those who are financially struggling in our service areas.

Social Worker Valerie hit the ground early this year in order to pull together “backpack blessings” for the children of the Olive Branch area. The community responded overwhelmingly to the call for support.

With the help of local churches and businesses, Valerie had everything she needed to finish filling the bags. Thanks to her helping hands—daughter Melvanah and volunteer Nicole —Valerie was able to pack the supplies up in quick fashion.

Officer McKenzie of the Olive Branch Police Department also came to speak. He talked to the students about bullying. McKenzie also talked to the children about safety and offered free finger printing. Officer McKenzie donated $100 out of his own pocket toward the supplies, stating, “You have to give children what they need to succeed.”

When it was all over, 116 Olive Branch children from PK3 to 12th grade were well equipped to step back in the classroom for another year of learning. Many thanks to all the businesses and individuals that made this and our other back to school events a success!

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