It’s a memory that comes with the first day of school, and people like Melissa Rosales want to ensure that every child is able to have this memory.
She and her coworkers from the family base services department of Child Protective Services are working with the Beeville Vineyard to gather school supplies for the needy children in Bee County.
“There are some that know that is all they are going to get. They are excited to have it,” she said.
On Friday, Rosales and her coworkers went shopping on their own time for backpacks, pens, paper and the other necessities these youngsters will need.
The money they used came from donations made to the Vineyard. They aren’t taking donations themselves. They are just helping with the shopping.
In all, they bought about 20 backpacks and supplies.
But this isn’t near enough to fill the need of the community.
“The Vineyard is in great need,” Rosales said.
Just Tuesday morning, about five youngsters walked into the Vineyard in need of supplies.
“It is going to go quickly,” she said.
Along with school supplies, the charity organization also needs clothes and shoes.
“Some kids don’t have any clothes to go back to school with,” Rosales said.
Lupe Sanchez, who heads the Vineyard, said that they have received a multitude of calls from parents asking about supplies.
“We only have a few school supplies, and we will give them out as far as they will go,” she said.
Right now, they are focusing on collecting only for elementary through sixth grade.
The school supply list is long — four bottles of glue, two boxes of crayons, pencils, markers and eight glue sticks — and that is only a partial list for kindergarten.
“I don’t see how families can afford to get ready for school,” Sanchez said.
Rosales said that she and her coworkers have been volunteering the past couple of years as a way to help out Sanchez and the Vineyard.
“It is all of us,” she said of the effort. “It is not just me.”
Her office oftentimes works hand in hand with the Vineyard because of the services they provide.
“Everybody goes over that is going through hard times,” she said.
With donations down this year, she is using her day off to solicit money from various businesses around town.
“Someone donated a generous amount, like $500, last year,” she said. “This year, we have very few donations.”
But Rosales is persistent and wants to ensure that they are able to get enough supplies for every needy child.
They even received a few donations while they shopped last week for this first round of supplies.
“I was talking to a lady, and she donated $20, and another lady donated $15,” Rosales said.
She doesn’t know what she will get from people and businesses but hopes it is enough. If not, she will continue on asking for help on behalf of the Vineyard.
“I am going to do the walking,” she said.
Donations, either of supplies or money, can be made to the Vineyard at 210 N. Monroe St. or by calling 361-358-7500.