On Friday, August 17, thousands of children and their parents will gather at The ROC at First Baptist Church Longview at 8 a.m., eagerly awaiting the School Supply Train. Junior League of Longview (JLL) member and School Supply Train chair Stephanie Walden and her team will be there to greet the children and hand out backpacks, school supplies, and uniforms. Children will also have an opportunity to receive dental and eye exams, hair-cuts, and immunizations, all at no cost.
Established by the JLL in 1993, the School Supply Train has evolved over the years into a valuable partnership between the League, Buckner Children and Family Services, and First Baptist Church. During this time, more than 48,000 children have been ready for their first day of school thanks to the generosity of these organizations and the many donors and volunteers.
“I enjoy volunteering because I enjoy helping others in our community. As a member of Junior League, I am able to impact the lives of children who are less fortunate than others,” Mrs. Walden said. “School Supply Train is one of many wonderful projects that help meet the needs of children in our community. These children are the future of Longview. The positive impact these volunteer projects make on our children will benefit our community in the future.”
Mrs. Walden is originally from Longview and graduated from Spring Hill High School. She received her bachelor’s degree in Interdisciplinary Studies from Stephen F. Austin State University in Nacogdoches, and earned her master’s degree in Special Education from The University of Texas at Tyler. Mrs. Walden is employed through the Gregg County Special Education Shared Services Arrangement and is an educational diagnostician for the Spring Hill Independent School District. She is a member of Delta Kappa Gamma, a professional honorary society for women educators that promotes professional and personal growth of its members and excellence in education. Mrs. Walden and her husband, David, have been married nine years and have two daughters, Caroline, age 4, and Claire, age 2. The Waldens are members of Elmira Cumberland Presbyterian Church.
“Longview has always been home to me...(it) is comprised of friendly people, some that I have known all my life. Now that I am a parent, I enjoy volunteering and giving back to the community. I try to set an example for my daughters; I would like to instill in them the importance of giving your time to those who are less fortunate,” Mrs. Walden said.
For more information about the School Supply Train, please call the JLL office at 903-757-5740 or visit www.jllongview.org.