Bryant Million: PNT Staff Writer
Several local businesses and organizations are holding back-to-school supply programs and drives so that families and children in need can be prepared for the upcoming school year.
Jeanette Chavez, the director of marketing and public affairs at La Casa Family Health Center, said La Casa is giving out backpacks full of school supplies when families bring their children in for their annual or sports physical examination. The program is intended for students 18 years old or younger and the backpacks are filled with supplies appropriate for each grade.
Chavez said the goal of the program is not only to provide those in need with the necessary supplies, but also to help educate kids about preventative health care.
She said the program will continue until Aug. 11. She said La Casa has had about 200 kids come in to their Portales and Clovis centers so far. Families can call La Casa 356-6828 to set an appointment.
The program is intended for La Casa’s regular patients as well as non-patients. People participating will need to provide their insurance card as well as immunization cards.
For those without insurance, Chavez said La Casa has M.O.S.A.A.s (Medicaid On Sight Application Assistants) to help them fill out the necessary forms.
The Eastern New Mexico University Bookstore has partnered with the Portales Kiwanis Club in collecting school supplies for local children.
Bobby Brunson, the bookstore’s floor manager and a Kiwanis member for three years, said they are asking people to donate any school supplies, from crayons to notebooks, for local children in need.
Those who wish to donate can bring the supplies to the ENMU Bookstore, Dr. Charles Brooks Optometry or they can call the Kiwanis Club at 562-2264 to have a member come pick them up.
The First Financial Credit Union is also holding a drive for their employees, members and anyone else to donate supplies.
FFCU manager Jan Henderson said this is the third year they have collected supplies and donated them to the public school’s central office to be distributed among the schools.
Jackie Burns, the principal at Brown Early Childhood Center, said she appreciates the efforts of these organizations.
“A large number of (Portales) students are below the poverty line and any assistance will be beneficial to them and their families.”