7/29/16 - Rachel Graham
A new uniform, a pair of shoes, and a backpack full of school supplies can be the catalyst for change in the lives of many school-aged children in the Longview area. However, not every family can afford to provide these items for their children. That is why the Junior League of Longview started the School Supply Train, an annual event designed to help youngsters start the year off on the right foot.
The 23rd Annual School Supply Train is scheduled to begin at 8:00 a.m. on August 6 at the First Baptist Church of Longview’s ROC gymnasium and activity center. Doors will remain open until all supplies have been distributed. The organization provides free school supplies, uniforms, and a pair of new shoes to area children who meet income eligibility requirements.
Since its inception, the School Supply Train has provided more than $697,000 back into East Texas and provided school supplies to more than 60,000 children. Buckner Family Services and First Baptist Church of Longview have also partnered with the Junior League to provide assistance with the eligibility screening process and provide a large facility to host the event.
Rachel Graham serves as the chair for the School Supply Train event and says the organization will be giving out 2,500 backpacks full of supplies this year.
“My favorite part of volunteering with the School Supply Train is seeing the smiling faces of the kids and the parents when we hand over their backpack with all of their supplies to start their school year,” Mrs. Graham said. “I have such a heart for children. This is by far one of my favorite projects I’ve volunteered for.”
In addition to her work with the Junior League of Longview, Mrs. Graham is a member of the Young Professionals of Longview.
Born in Longview, Mrs. Graham is a graduate of Longview High School and earned her bachelor’s degree in early childhood education from The University of Texas at Austin. She is a second grade school teacher for Hallsville Independent School District, but she plans to take some time off this school year to stay home with her four-month-old daughter, Molly.
Mrs. Graham is married to her husband, Connor, and the family attends First United Methodist Church of Longview. She is proud to have the chance to raise her family in her home town.
“I love East Texas. This is where I was born and raised,” she said. “I feel so lucky to be able to raise my family here with all of the love and support from my friends and family.”
For more information about the School Supply Train, please visit www.jllongview.org.