By David Tuma
The Belton Journal
Belton has always gotten out and supported the kids. As the Belton Independent School District has grown, Project Apple Tree has been able to provide kids in need with school supplies. This year, an incredible 1,557 local school children who attend BISD were able to have a backpack, new clothes and shoes, hygiene packets and school supplies.
The Apple Tree Project has been ongoing for months, raising funds, buying 1,557 school supplies lists and packing for that many kids takes hours of work. More than 300 volunteers were on hand for the project Monday at First Baptist Church in Belton to help distribute the supplies.
Local needy families were ready and lining up early getting ready for the opening of the doors at 9 a.m. For the volunteers it is a labor of love, year after year. Young adults who carried the supply lists to and from the church to the cars were learning how to give. It has grow from just a small project started by former Lakewood Elementary School teacher Jeannette Kelley to an enormous project requiring thousands of hours of volunteer work.
“It went incredibly smooth this year,” Kelley said. “We had so many wonderful volunteers. The young people taking the school packages out to the cars for those in need, was a big help. It is just amazing how the Belton community responds to help others. The volunteers (on) Monday made the families feel special.”
Kelley and her team are already gearing up for another record-breaking project next year.