WACO, TX — The Salvation Army of McLennan County is on a mission to break the poverty cycle.
Volunteers tell 25 News that making sure students have the tools they need to succeed is step one.
Central Texans are giving back, under the guidance of a group of salvationists that have real staying power.
"The Salvation Army has been in Central Texas since 1891," Major Jim Talor explains. "Our mission has been to take care of the poor and needy in our community," Taylor is the commanding officer for the Salvation Army in McLennan County.
"We got some backpacks and some premade boxes," Taylor sorts through the donations from the nonprofit's 'Stuff the Bus' event over the weekend at local Walmart stores. "Then we also had people that had crayons or individual notebooks."
Someone with a heart of gold stopped by the Salvation Army Thrift Store on Waco Drive in Waco.
"Just after you guys put it on the news that morning, [someone] brought us these backpacks and dropped them off at the thrift store and they're already loaded up with supplies," Taylor revealed.
All of the school supplies will go to students whose families are screened, proving they have a true need for resources.
"Children that are born in poverty stay in poverty as adults," Salvation Army spokesperson Diana Barrett explained, "We're really just trying to break that cycle."
Everything collected goes to local kids starting this Friday.
"Some kids are going to school for the very first time and how exciting it is for them that they're going to get all the supplies they need by the time they get to school," Taylor said.
In 2020, the organization helped 50 families, preparing young scholars for a brighter future.
Donations are down this year, in part Taylor believes, because they were not able to have volunteers stations at the collections bins inside stores, due to COVID-19.
If you would like to donate school supplies, you have until the end of the day on Thursday, August 12, 2021.
Just stop by the Salvation Army Thrift Store at 4721 W. Waco Drive, Waco.