Backpack giveaway planned for Saturday Aug. 8

"Out of sight, but not out of mind" Lake Charles native giving back to his community with back-to-school drive
Updated: Aug. 3, 2020 at 10:28 PM CDT
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LAKE CHARLES, La. (KPLC) - With the school year quickly approaching, a Lake Charles native and founder of non-profit “MyLife4YourLife”is providing 500 backpacks to local students in need. Cleveland Jones, Jr. who currently resides in Dallas, Texas says it’s important for him to lend a helping hand to his community in this time of need.

“What can I do to give back and empower and encourage my neighborhood, and where I come from?” Jones said.

He says he wants to take some of the financial burden off of the community by providing students with backpacks stuffed with school supplies and PPE.

Jones grew up in the Booker T. Washington project, and he’s partnered with local attorney Shunette Thomas, who was raised in sunlight manor. Both say they were raised to look out for their neighbors.

“That was a way of life for us. Families we looked out for each other and the neighbors looked out for each other,” Thomas said. We always took care of each other whether it was a neighbor needing a cup of sugar, or school supplies.”

The duo will be holding two drive-thru events Saturday, August 8 at Sunlight Manor, 9-11:30 a.m. and Clark Courts 1-3:30 p.m. in Lake Charles, where they’ll pass out the school bags to Lake Area students.

Jones says masks are required and each student must be present to receive a book bag, hand sanitizer, face masks, notebooks, pencils and a folder. There is no need to register, the give away will be on a first-come first-serve basis.

Both Thomas and Jones say they are proud to give back to the community that poured so much into them. Jones says providing kids with the tools they need to succeed in life is the perfect way to do that.

“We’ll contribute back with the school supplies for the kids,” Jones said, “What can be done for the next generation? Because sometimes if your need is not met you lose sight and you lose believing.”

Jones says people can also drop off donations at either location if they’d like.

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