As a school teacher, Kelsey Runge has seen first-hand the needs of area children as they start back to school each year. And as a member of the Junior League of Longview (JLL), Mrs. Runge is able to help fill those needs.
On Friday, August 15, the JLL School Supply Train will roll through Longview, providing backpacks and school supplies, uniform shirts, shoes, and haircuts, at no charge, to qualified, low-income, school-aged children. Mrs. Runge is serving as the School Supply Train chair this year and expects this one-day event to touch the lives of more than 3,200 children. The newest JLL community project, Read as One, will also provide 500 books for the Pre-Kindergarten and Kindergarten backpacks. In addition, teacher’s bags will be also be available, while supplies last, to area teachers. In partnership with Buckner Children and Family Services, First Baptist Church, and KVNE, JLL is helping to give each child the gift of being prepared for the excitement of the first day of school.
“I feel that volunteerism is necessary as a human being,” Mrs. Runge said. “To serve a fellow peer is what makes this world complete, both for the giver and the receiver. No matter how small or large, our actions are shaping this community, thus, it is imperative to make a positive impact. I feel it is also important to model volunteerism to our youth, so future generations understand the need for compassion and empathy towards one another.”
In addition to her commitment to JLL, Mrs. Runge serves as a board member for Heads in Helmets, a charity on a mission to eliminate traumatic brain injuries to children across America, and sponsored locally by the Sloan, Bagley, Hatcher & Perry Law Firm.
Born in Dallas, Texas, Mrs. Runge has lived in Longview four years. She graduated from South Grand Prairie High School in Grand Prairie, Texas, and earned her bachelor’s degree in broadcast journalism, with a secondary in education, from Texas Tech University in Lubbock, Texas. Mrs. Runge and her husband, Carson, a local attorney, have been married seven years and have one daughter, Elizabeth, who will turn two in September. Mrs. Runge taught English at Hallsville High School for the past three years and is now at home with her daughter. The family attends Grace Crossing Methodist Church.
“In the past 29 years, I have lived in four different Texas cities,” Mrs. Runge said. “Longview is by far one of the most family-friendly and close-knit communities. From the beautiful pine trees to the “small town” charm, East Texas has welcomed us with open arms, and my husband and I are very pleased to call Longview our home.”
For more information on the Junior League of Longview and the School Supply Train, please call 903-757-5740, or visit www.jllongview.org.