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Churches, Brownsboro Independent School District and community members are coming together to provide students with school supplies, haircuts, shoes and other basic needs.

The fifth annual back-to-school health fair is looking to the community for financial donations to buy school supplies for kids, as well as shoe and sock donations.

The event, hosted by Chandler First Assembly of God, Brownsboro High School, Rock Hill Baptist Church and First United Methodist Church, provides basic needs to disadvantaged students, Brownsboro High School Principal Brandon Jones said.

Although the Chandler and Brownsboro communities are hosting the event, it is open to students from all over who need supplies, shoes, haircuts and a basic medical check-ups.

"I have to believe that for some of our kids who attend our schools, if it weren't for this, the kids and families might go without these basic needs," Jones said. "We are able to offer some things in terms of supplies. We’ll make sure no kid goes without the supplies they need to start school, but there are some things that go beyond that. Haircuts, shoes, socks. Just seeing those kids light up and see that that’s something that they get to take with them, it’s just incredible."

Event organizers need volunteers, especially those willing to help fit kids for shoes, and donations. Instead of donating school supplies, Chandler First Assembly of God administrative assistant Georgia Wright said they prefer cash donations.

"The reason we kind of do all of it in bulk is because it’s cheaper that way and we know that every kid is getting what they need for school and all getting the same thing," Wright said. "And a lot of people prefer to just give us the money and let us do the donation shopping for them."

Last year, 1,254 kids received help at the health fair.

Wright said the best shoe donations are non-brand name athletic shoes with laces or Velcro. 

"We prefer shoes from places like Walmart, Target, Payless," Wright said. "That way it’s even across the board. Everybody gets to be happy and enjoy new pair of shoes. Plus, for those making donations, it's more cost efficient."

School supply donations will be accepted, but Wright said it's easier to get the exact supplies students need through monetary donations. 

Students will get supplies based on their grade so that high school students who don't need crayons will get something they do need instead.

For more information or to volunteer or make a donation, call 903-849-6418.

Twitter: @ByJamesHartley

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James Hartley is a multimedia journalist focusing on written news, features and longform storytelling. He is passionate about local politics, true stories, movies and baseball. Connect with James on Twitter @ByJamesHartley or Instagram @JamesTakesPhotos.

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