East TN grassroots nonprofit helps families prepare for the upcoming school year

Tennessee News

JOHNSON CITY, Tenn. (WJHL) — When school doors closed this past springtime, many weren’t expecting the semester to wrap up so soon.

Many school systems within the region have announced reopening plans for the upcoming fall semester, and Seasons of Hope aimed to make the transition from home to classroom as easy for families as possible.

The local grassroots nonprofit spent the last month and a half determining the 16 recipient families for Operation School Bus, a program that seeks to supply teenagers with all the back-to-school essentials, including clothing, gift cards, backpacks, school supplies, and a food box.

Founder and president Katy Keen told WJHL-TV that the volunteers hope to uplift as many community members as they can by lending their helping hands, and they specifically targeted high school students who might be out of work due to business closures.

“A lot of us are experiencing a hard time that a lot of people have never experienced,” Keen said. “You know, most of us — a lot of us — live paycheck to paycheck, so losing a paycheck or months of a paycheck definitely affects being able to have what you need to start school.”

According to Keen, the group could only give away boxes to 16 families because of a lack of funds this year after several fundraisers were canceled due to the pandemic.

Nonetheless, Seasons of Hope continues to move forward and schedule upcoming events for those in need.

Those interested in volunteering with the group can visit their Facebook page for updates on upcoming charity drives and events.

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