By Lindsay Starr Platt
Project Apple Tree has began collect donations for providing school supplies for area children in the Belton School District in need. Families have to apply and qualify through the Helping Hands Ministry in Belton.
Each year the numbers increase for those who need assistance. The first year the program started there were 250 students who qualified. Last year the numbers were 1,500 with 1,600 expected this fall.
This program is vital to area children, all students. It gives students who might not have the clothes that others have, a chance to feel they are the same as others. It creates an overall better learning environment.
Supplies need to be purchases and delivered to Project Apple Tree by Aug. 8. Those who choose to sponsor a child through Project Apple Tree will receive the child’s first name, grade, and clothing and shoe sizes, and will purchase the grade-appropriate supplies, as well as a pair of shoes, an outfit, and underwear. Individuals, businesses, churches, and other groups can all be sponsors. Those interested in sponsoring children should contact Helping Hands Ministry’s Director of Community Partnerships, Kristen Bulgrien, at (254) 939-7355 or at email@example.com. Please include your name, the best way to contact you, and desired number of children to sponsor with your communication. All supplies must be purchased and returned by August 8. Distribution day will be Aug 15.
There are currently 1,000 children who have qualified for the program. Registration continues thru the end of July at Helping Hands Ministisrties on Mon, Tues, Wed and Thurs. “We are in the process of getting the Apple Tree tags to organizations and businesses to start the process. There are around 20 volunteers every day working to make this project a success. The final day we have 200 volunteers working,” said Jeannette Kelley, founder of Project Apple Tree. “The community has been so supportive. We would love for more churches, businesses and service clubs to participate.”
For those that want to volunteer go to Baptist Student Minisrty on UMHB campus.
They also take cash donations. You can reach Kelley at 718-4514 or email to firstname.lastname@example.org The items collected will be distributed in the gym of First Baptist Church in Belton Aug. 17.
Volunteers are needed. You can select a child at the Baptist Student Ministry on the UMHB campus.