2/8/15: Junior Auxiliary delivers critical school supplies to elementary schools

You’ve probably heard about “Christmas in July”, but you may not be familiar with “School Supplies in January”.  Last month, Junior Auxiliary of Taney County (JATC) members delivered school supplies to Kirbyville, Taneyville, Bradleyville and Mark Twain Elementary Schools in eastern Taney County.   Knowing that many other organizations assist with items at the start of the school year, JATC adapted its long-running school supplies project to help fill supply shelves after the holiday break. 

The much-needed supplies included spiral notebooks, rulers, glue, glue sticks, pencils, erasers, pens, scissors, crayons, folders, notebook paper, construction paper, and note cards.  In addition, based on input from the teachers and counselors, JATC members brought socks, underwear, hats, gloves, Clorox wipes and Lysol to the schools.  The children, teachers and staff were all hugs and smiles as these critical supplies were replenished mid-year. 

Volunteers making the deliveries left to shouts of “Thank you” and “See you next year!”  At Kirbyville Elementary School, Principal Addie Gaines pointed out to students that this delivery was a great example of Junior Auxiliary’s “generosity” which happened to be the character word for the month.

Junior Auxiliary members have been collecting high demand items since August.  They shop the sales and save them up for this time of year when the schools run low.  Members donate many of the items and the budget allotted for this project goes to fill special requests from these schools such as hand sanitizer and construction paper. 

School Supplies in January is one of many service projects that JATC members provide to the community.  Others include Santa’s Gift House; College Readiness programs and scholarships; prom dresses for girls in need; stuffed animals for children in the local hospitals; Journey, a mentoring project for young women; support for the Women’s Crisis Center, in which they provide home improvement and monetary support for one of the cottages; and Book Swap Stop/Homework Helpers, in which they provide snacks, enrichment programs, reading and homework help for children who live in extended-stay hotels/motels.

Members raise money for these projects through one major event - a fun Trivia Challenge with dinner, live entertainment, a raffle and a Silent Auction.  This year the 15th Annual Trivia Challenge and Silent Auction will be held at the Radisson Hotel in Branson on March 28th, 2015.  Check out the Junior Auxiliary website (jatcmo.org) to find out how to get in on the fun.

JATC is more than a nonprofit organization, it’s a group of women united by a single cause and dedicated to helping the children of Taney County.  That’s the magic of JATC.  It was chartered by a group of caring, enthusiastic women in 1998 and continues to grow and thrive throughout Taney County.  Approximately 50 members annually contribute more than 4,000 volunteer hours and thousands of dollars as they strive to improve the mental, physical, social and emotional well-being of children in Taney County.

JATC is part of the National Association of Junior Auxiliaries (NAJA), a non-profit organization founded in 1941 with headquarters in Greenville, Mississippi.  NAJA has more than 15,500 active, associate and life members in 98 chapters located in Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, and Tennessee.  Their slogan is “Care Today-Character Tomorrow”.

More information on JATC can be found on the Junior Auxiliary website JATCMO.ORG, their Facebook page, Junior Auxiliary of Taney County or via email at jatcmo@gmail.com.

Published: Branson Daily Independent, Feb. 8, 2015