On Friday, August 16, thousands of children and their parents will gather at First Baptist Church Longview waiting for the School Supply Train to roll through. Junior League of Longview (JLL) member and School Supply Train chair Jennifer Collier and her team will be there to greet them with warm smiles and provide backpacks filled with school supplies. The children will also have the opportunity to receive free immunizations, haircuts, and dental and eye examinations. These services are provided by area businesses. The backpacks and services are offered to qualified, low-income school-aged children. This project provides higher self-esteem and a positive attitude for each child as they begin a new school year prepared and confident.
“The School Supply Train began in 1993 with the JLL and this year we are celebrating our 20th anniversary,” Mrs. Collier said. “It has evolved into a valuable partnership between Junior League, Buckner Children and Family Services, and First Baptist Church Longview. As a league member, I am able to impact the lives of children who are less fortunate than others. The 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.”
In addition to serving as chair of the 2013 School Supply Train, Mrs. Collier has served as council member-nominating chair and membership development committee chair for the JLL. She is also a member of Delta Kappa Gamma.
Mrs. Collier was born and reared in Longview. She graduated from Spring Hill High School and earned her bachelor’s degree in interdisciplinary studies from Stephen F. Austin State University in Nacogdoches, Texas. Mrs. Collier is the director at Elmira Chapel Discovery School. She and her husband, Mike, have been married for 10 years and have two sons, Jack, 5, and Sam, 2. The family attends First United Methodist Church.
“Longview has always been home to me,” Mrs. Collier said. “My parents moved to Longview after they were married. As a child, it was a great place to grow up. Longview 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 sons. I would like to instill in them the importance of giving your time to those who are less fortunate.”