School supply train makes final stop

By Philippe Djegal - email

TYLER, TX (KLTV) - After months of campaigning, all of the hard work paid off.

Today the non-profit PATH, or People Attempting to Help, handed out all the school supplies they collected through their School Supply Train program. A recessed economy didn't stop East Texans from giving.

Volunteers loaded box after box after box, packing trucks and vans with supplies, learning tools for every student in Smith County.

"This event was extremely successful, as well as beneficial for the people of East Texas who are volunteering and giving," said Becky Duncan, Community Outreach Coordinator for PATH.

"I just think it's a worthwhile cause," said Diane Carnes, a Councilor at Rice Elementary School. "It helps so many kids in East Texas, and I'm very thankful for what they do for us."

"Last year, we collected somewhere around 87 thousand items," said Duncan. "So, no, I'm not going to be surprised at all if it's a hundred thousand items and I'll jump up and down."

The School Supply Train kicked off in the first week of July, when PATH called on the community to drop off any suppplies they could to help East Texas students who couldn't afford to buy them.

Bikers then hit the streets a few weeks later, riding from town to town, asking for donations, and filling up a school bus with supplies.

Today, despite a down economy which is forcing everyone to think twice about giving, East Texans are still giving.

"They realize that there's probably a lot of families in need," said Diane Carnes. "I think people have just poured out their hearts and by donating time and money to this program."

"It's an opportunity to give back to the community and that does so much for the spirit of people," said David Lockridge, a volunteer and member of the Tyler Rose City Kiwanis Club.

Becky Duncan says "It did not surprise me that the people of East Texas would step up, because they always do."

The new school year doesn't start for a few weeks, and although today they disbursed all of the supplies they collected through the month of July, PATH says they are still accepting donations at their office in Tyler.

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