LAKE CHARLES, LA (KPLC) - DeWanna's Community Closet has been helping school children throughout Calcasieu Parish for the last few years now.
From purchasing uniforms, to shoes, founder DeWanna Tarver has been doing all she can to provide for students.
Now she's working on a new project--chair backs for students to keep their school supplies in.
Two weeks ago she discovered the idea to create chair backs out of vinyl billboards and signs. Tarver is hoping to create thousands of chair backs for students to use for the upcoming school year.
Tarver says she came up with the idea to use vinyl billboards from a television show.
"These guys out in California were recycling billboards, and making backpacks and tote bags out of them," she said. "Chair backs were something we had not been able to supply this year."
Tarver says once they get the billboards and signs they cut them into strips, and then put kits together to send to volunteers that will sew them together. Once they finish they will pass them out to schools as they need them.
So far they only have two chair backs made, but hope to have more done soon.
"We probably have 20,000 kids that need chair backs, so our goal is 20,000 chair backs," said Tarver.
Board of directors member, Liz McDonald is a retired teacher, and knows just how beneficial this can be for those in our area.
"I enjoy the fact that we're able to do this for the kids, and for the teachers," she said. "All of us are retired teachers, and anything we got was just useful to have."
Tarver says her biggest struggle is actually getting the billboards.
"...I don't know how often billboards are turned over," she said "Ad Source and Lamar are the only two I know in town, and they both are on board. They love the idea, and are both totally on board with giving us their billboards. "I'm not sure that's going to be enough (though)."
She's hoping more people will pass along their billboards and signs to her so that they can go to good use.
"If there is anybody out there with connections that can get us a vinyl billboard, we need them," said Tarver."
If you are interested in donating a vinyl billboard, you can reach out to Tarver HERE.