COPPERAS COVE — The amount was massive. In fact, the donation was so large that it took carts to move the items from place to place.
Members of the Mount Sinai No 42 Holy Royal Arch of the Masonic Order carried in box after box full of new school supplies to Fairview/Miss Jewell Elementary School.
While many organizations, churches and businesses conduct school supply drives in the fall before the start of school, very few realize that by the start of the second semester, the fall supply donations have been depleted. Mason Victor Wiggins understands the need this time of the year.
“We did a lot of praying about how to help people. We know people are buying presents for their families and may be short of funds this time of year,” he said. “This community is a military community and kids are starting a new school and may not have school supplies.”
Wiggins assured school principal Leah Miller that the Masonic Order is no farther than a phone call away if her students ever need anything.
“We will work as a chapter and as team to get these young people the things they need to be successful,” Wiggins said.
The Mount Sinai No 42 Holy Royal Arch of the Masonic Order has donated school supplies to local schools since 1975. This is the second year the lodge donated supplies to Fairview/Miss Jewell Elementary and the eighth year it has donated to Copperas Cove ISD. It is a practice the members will continue, Mason Edmond Jones said.
“People want to give around Christmas, but they have to remember to give the other 11 months,” he said. “We, as an organization, try to remind people of that. People are generous and if you tell them there is a need they will reach in their pockets to fill that need.”
The much-needed school supplies will be distributed through Fairview/Miss Jewell’s Communities in Schools representative Danny Velarde.
“Back to school is important to kids,” Velarde said. “It may seem trivial, but having the same kinds of school supplies as the other students matters. Lacking something as simple as a binder or pencil pouch can create feelings of disfavor and negatively affect a student’s attitude.” Jimmie Gee, Past High Priest of the Order, agreed that it goes deeper than notebooks and pencils.
“We are all men of stature in our community,” he said. “In the media, you see many people doing terrible things. We work to increase the visibility of the men who are role models to young people to show them that there are people in our community that help. We, as an organization, know that there is no such thing as ‘good enough.’ We continue to strive together to make things better.”