Community packs backpacks for TISD students - KXXV Central Texas News Now

Community packs backpacks for TISD students

(Source: KXXV) (Source: KXXV)

Twenty four churches in Bell County are teaming up to provide school supplies for Temple Independent School District students. 

More than 1,600 students in TISD from kindergarten to the 8th grade will get a backpack filled with school supplies thanks to Backpack Buddies through Churches Touching Lives for Christ

"We're sharing God's love by giving school supplies," Abigail Armstrong, a kindergartner helping pack backpacks, said.

This is the 13th year of the program. 

"We're getting backpack supplies and school supplies for other kids that their parents can't afford backpacks for them," Carter Johnson, a first-grade student who is helping pack backpacks, said.

Carter's mom, Mary Helen Johnson, and her sister Sally Armstrong both grew up in Temple and went to Temple ISD schools. They have been helping with Backpack Buddies since they moved back to the area.

"There was a program like this when we were younger and I still remember doing it for a boy who went to school for us. He didn't know we did it. It meant so much to us. That's why I like doing this for the local kids. It's staying right here," Armstrong said.

Mary Helen Johnson said these supply-filled backpacks helps the whole classroom.

"[The students] get the self-esteem boost because they have their own backpack and they were able to bring the supplies to meet the teacher just like everybody else," Johnson said. "And it helps the teachers with the supplies."

Mary Helen and Sally said it's important for them to teach their kids to love and give back through this program.

"They understand the need for these items and I think they understand how it would be so sad if you didn't have them. So to be able to provide that for someone that wouldn't be able to come to school with it, it's so special. And really, why not?" Johnson said.

On August 8th, students will pick up their backpacks at the Backpack Buddies Bash at Edwards Academy from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Temple Bible Church is looking for volunteers to help at the bash. Contact Tim Cartwright at for information.

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