Jno G. Lewis Masonic Lodge donates 150 backpacks to CCISD
By BRITTANY FHOLER
Members of the Jno G. Lewis Masonic Lodge #622 of Copperas Cove dropped off more than 150 backpacks at the Copperas Cove Independent School District Administration building at 408 S. Main Street Thursday morning.
The members of the lodge normally hand out backpacks to students in need through the back to school event held every year at the Armed Services YMCA in Copperas Cove. Due to the novel coronavirus however, the ASYMCA has been closed and is not having a back to school bash.
Worshipful Master Donald Buckram, Sr. said the lodge decided to give directly to the school district as a result.
“We’ve been doing this since early 2000s as a lodge. We just feel as though it’s very important that we give back to the Copperas Cove community, especially this year with the COVID stuff going on,” Buckram said. “We know there’s a lot of kids this year, with their parents being out of work, that’s probably going to need it more this year than the previous year. We just feel as though we want to get ahead and make sure that we take care of these needy families, and you know, one bookbag can mean a lot for a particular family, so it’s very important that we take care of the needy families here in the community of Copperas Cove.”
The lodge members buy the backpacks in bulk and had originally planned for 150 bags but due to how the bags were sold, ended up buying 168 bags total.
“It feels great because that’s why we’re in this,” Buckram said. “This masonic order in this community is in here to take care of the community.”
The Jno G. Lewis Lodge #622 has been in Copperas Cove since June 1979, and they celebrated their 40th anniversary last year.
“Throughout this pandemic, I noticed a lot of people are in need, and Jno G. Lewis Lodge, we’re here to support the community and we’ll continue to do that throughout the year,” Buckram said.
CCISD’s Director of Communications Wendy Sledd was there to welcome the lodge members as they carried in seven boxes of 28 bookbags.
“We’re always grateful for our community partners that are willing to support our students, because yes, we are there to ensure that they are educated academically, but if they’re worrying about school supplies or don’t have what they need to achieve success in the classroom, they’re not going to be successful, so this is where it really makes a difference,” Sledd said. “Especially in our reopening plans where we’re talking about students who will no longer share school supplies, these backpacks and school supplies are more vital than they have ever been in any other school year.”
Sledd added that CCISD will be partnering with the Copperas Cove Wal-Mart again this year for the annual Stuff the Bus event on August 7 to August 9. That weekend is Tax-Free Weekend in Texas and all qualifying items like clothing, shoes, backpacks and school supplies will not be taxed.
The Copperas Cove Wal-Mart has restricted entry and exit to the Grocery side of the store, which is also the side that the blue CCISD activity bus is typically parked in front of each year. There will not be entertainment this year, but shoppers are encouraged to pick up some extra school supplies to donate to CCISD while they shop during this weekend.
A list of school supplies for CCISD students can be found online at: https://www.ccisd.com/147655_2.