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Local business helps supply students

By Staff
Customers donate school needs to outreach center
By DAN PARSONS, Staff Writer
Thanks to the efforts of Dollar General on John Small Avenue and for donations from its customers, children at the Purpose of God Annex Outreach Center will not go without supplies this school year.
For two months, cashiers at the store asked customers if they would like to donate school supplies by dropping them in a bin next to the checkout counter. When Bishop Samuel Jones Junior and his wife, Mother Regina Jones, founders of the outreach center, accepted the donations Thursday, it had overflowed and then some. With school beginning tomorrow, Jones said it made him happy to know that his students would not return unprepared.
The store’s manager, Kimberly Freeman, chose the outreach center as the recipient of the donations. Because her younger cousin attends the center, she said she well knew supplies were badly needed there.
Freeman said the stores eight cashiers deserved credit for the wealth of supplies donated. Because of the success of the drive, Freeman said she plans to hold it again next year.
“I would say 90 percent of our customers every day donated something,” she said.
Jones said the supplies would go to the children he and his wife mentor at their center. The program, now in its eighth year, engages parents, students, teachers and law enforcement to put underprivileged children on the path to academic and social success.
It offers programs ranging from art and math to social-skills development and disciplinary training. Paying themselves nothing for their effort, the Joneses rely on donations like those made available through the Dollar General school supply drive to educate their students.