Liberty Tax Service, 600 Indian Trail, Suite 201 in Harker Heights, will host a back-to-school backpack giveaway at 1 p.m. Aug. 15.

In addition, there will be food, drinks, music and fun. Students enrolled in the Killeen Independent School District’s Homeless Awareness and Response Program will receive backpacks stuffed with school supplies.

Aleta Eversly, owner of Liberty Tax Service, began working with HARP after her daughter brought home information about the program. She was surprised to learn about the number of homeless students in the school district.

“These students should have the supplies they need without any added pressure,” Eversly said. “It is important to support your own community. If it wasn’t for the community we wouldn’t be in business. I hope more businesses will get involved in the future.”

Donations for all types of school supplies will be accepted until the day of the event and can be dropped off at Liberty Tax Service.

HARP is the Killeen ISD program for homeless students mandated by a federal law as part of the McKinney-Vento Act. Homeless students have to qualify for the program each school year. Students are identified after July 1.

“We have just begun to identify students for the 2014-2015 school year,” said Diane Miller, Killeen ISD assistant superintendent.

At the end of the 2013-2014 school year, 1,499 students in Killeen ISD were identified as homeless.

“Donations help us meet the needs of all our students,” Miller said. “We greatly appreciate and make good use of all donations to HARP.”

Students who are new to Killeen ISD can go to the District Enrollment Center at Ellison High School. If students were enrolled in Killeen ISD during 2013-2014, they will need to go to their previous campus on or after Aug. 19 to complete a student residency questionnaire.

Parents or students may also call 254-336-0240 for more information about HARP.

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