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The Storehouse Distributes Backpacks Servando Jimenez,11, Nicholas Jimenez, 8, and Rebeca Jimenez, 6, receive new backpacks. They are pictured with their mom Audelina Jimenez.

Fifty-five volunteers joined the staff of The Storehouse of Collin County on August 8 to distribute  backpacks to over 500 children who were registered participants in the  Seven Loaves Food Pantry, a program of The Storehouse of Collin County. Throughout the summer, The Storehouse received donations from the community to provide each child with a backpack, a basic set of school supplies, and a gift card to Old Navy for school uniforms. The afternoon included fun activities for the children including snow cones and a craft station.  Families also received tomatoes and fresh fruit. An additional 160 backpacks were provided the following the day to families coming to the Seven Loaves Food Pantry.

The Storehouse Executive Director Candace Winslow and COO/General Manager for the Seven Loaves Food Pantry Terry Breedlove greeted volunteers, which included many from Young Men’s Service League and National Charity League.

“Today is so much more than backpack distribution,” said Winslow. “The backpacks and the supplies and even the snow cones are simply the items we use to show our neighbors in Collin County that we care about them.  As volunteers you have the wonderful opportunity today to connect with a child to make them feel valued and loved.”

“Education provides opportunities for growth and overcoming life’s hardships,” added Terry Breedlove. “Every child in our community deserves the chance to be equipped with the tools to succeed in school.”

The children were all smiles as they had the opportunity to choose the color and style of backpack they wanted. As they exited with their new backpacks, they also received personal, handwritten notes of encouragement for the new school year prepared by a youth group in memory of a classmate who had passed away in an accident.

For more information about the Storehouse of Collin County or to make a donation, visit www.thestorehousecc.org or call 468-385-1815. Donations may also be mailed to The Storehouse of Collin County, 1401 Mira Vista Blvd., Plano, Texas  75093.

“We are so grateful for all of those who contributed to this important effort,” added Winslow. “For those struggling to put food on the table, school supplies are far outside family budgets. Contributions help us to lift this expensive burden for so many families. Last year, one family shared that not only is this is one less thing they had to worry about when preparing for the school year, but it also showed her children the importance of being prepared and having what they needed when they started school.”

The Storehouse of Collin County, a nonprofit organization housed within St. Andrew United Methodist Church, is the umbrella of services providing short-term assistance and long-term transformation to residents of Collin County in need: the Seven Loaves Food Pantry, serving 1,000 families a month; Joseph’s Coat Clothing Closet, providing an average of 4,000 garments each month; and Project Hope, a mentoring program supporting women in crisis. The program first began in 2009 under the name of Seven Loaves which provided only food pantry staples and grew over the years to meet a variety of needs. An estimated 130,000 people in Collin County live below the poverty level, more than half of which are children. Visit www.thestorehousecc.org.

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