By Chris Kieffer
TUPELO – The Junior Auxiliary of Tupelo on Thursday officially kicked off another school year of serving students in Tupelo and Lee County.
The organization held its annual School Aid Luncheon at First Baptist Church in Tupelo. The event for counselors, school nurses, administrators and board members is an opportunity for JA to outline the programs it offers in the city and county school districts. It also is a way to honor educators for helping students, said Heather Wolfe, JA’s school aid chairwoman.
JA relies on school personnel to alert it to students in need of services, said Tami Young, president of Junior Auxiliary of Tupelo.
“You are the eyes and ears of our school aid committee, and our volunteers stand ready to help you in any way in responding to the physical, educational and emotional needs of our community,” Young said.
The organization provides clothing and school supplies and helps fund eye doctor visits and eyeglasses for children referred by school counselors and nurses. It also holds camps for rising seventh-grade students, stages anti-bullying plays, teaches CPR and character education classes and provides scholarships.
“It is comforting knowing there are people out there who care about children who are not their own and go the extra mile for them,” said Brittany Orr, counselor at Verona Elementary School.
Last year, JA provided clothing and school supplies to 465 children, toothbrushes to 500 children, Christmas gifts to 76 children and eye exams and eye wear to 34 children.