School supply giveaway set for Bledsoe, Sequatchie

IF YOU GOTo get to Lee Station Baptist Church from Pikeville or Dunlap, Tenn., take U.S. Highway 127 to the Lee Station community about three miles south of Pikeville. Turn west on the access road leading to Old Highway 28 and turn north toward the church. The giveaway takes place from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. CDT on Aug. 25.HELP OUT/FIND OUTFor more information about the event or to donate to the school supply drive or food bank, call Bill Wolfe at 423-667-2287.

In hard economic times, whether there's a tax-free day or not, many students start school with few or no school supplies, say folks in Bledsoe County who are organizing to help out.

Lee Station Baptist Church pastor Bill Wolfe said the church on Old Highway 28 will be the site of a school supply giveaway Aug. 25 for Bledsoe and Sequatchie families who need some extra help gathering those necessary and often expensive school supplies.

"Bledsoe County has been hit real hard, not only with economic times, but the people who live on the mountain where the tornadoes hit [on April 27, 2011] are still having a tough time," Wolfe said Friday.

Retired Sequatchie County High School teacher and church member Lois Smith said she and her husband, Rick, know how much some families struggle at the beginning of the school year.

"We know there are a lot of schoolchildren who don't have supplies," Smith said. "With the economy the way it is, there are more and more kids that are in need."

Donations can be made in cash, but volunteers are happy to receive the basics such as pencils, pens, paper, notebooks, crayons, markers, used backpacks in good shape or new ones, she said.

Wolfe said volunteers also will accept donations for the local food bank.

"We'll have several things going on for the small kids," he said. "We'll have food and some games and things to give away."

Other groups, such as the Southeast Tennessee Meth Task Force and officials with Erlanger's LifeForce air ambulance service, could set up displays as their schedules allow, he said.