You just never know who you may help

Published 12:00 am Friday, July 23, 2004

Good Morning, Along the River-Kevin Chiri

The first annual “School Supply Project” is underway here at L’Observateur, and I am hoping the River Parish Region joins us in making the start of the new school year a happy one for many kids.

We are asking the public to join with us in helping needy children with their back-to-school supplies. You can bring supplies to the newspaper office here at 116 Newspaper Drive in LaPlace, or by sending a check to “School Supply Project,” c/o L’Observateur, P.O. Box 1010, LaPlace, La., 70069. (A supply list can be found by reading the front page story today.)

While it might seem like a small thing to some, school supplies can be a real burden to many families. Take this story we heard about.

A LaPlace woman finally got away from an abusive husband, but now is raising her three children on her own. A seventh grade boy, a first grade girl and a little boy in kindergarten all needs supplies, but their mother can barely make ends meet working at a local department store.

Her mother sent us a request for help, knowing that even the school supplies and uniforms that are needed for her grandchildren are a big burden for them to handle.

In my former position as an editor in Slidell, we conducted a food drive each Christmas, asking the public to help us make the holidays a little brighter for those less fortunate.

The thing that surprised us, since we personally delivered the food, was that so many individuals right around us all are struggling more than we knew.

It is no different when school gets ready to start each year.

Most of us are blessed beyond belief. But you might be surprised to know that the neighbor in the house next to you, who smiles and waves hello every day, is struggling just to pay the monthly bills.

That is why we wanted to help out with the mandated school supplies kids have to come up with.

Please join with us and help. We will be collecting donations until Aug. 7, and then delivering the supplies to the families that have been nominated. But of course, we can only help as much as you join with us. I hope each of you will contribute in whatever way you can.

KEVIN CHIRI is editor and publisher of L’Observateur. He may be reached at (985) 652-9545.