SANDIA, Texas — It’s that time of year again, and folks in Jim Wells County are working to ensure students start off the school year prepared for success, and a random act of kindness from a local business owner is bringing joy to several families here in Sandia.
Felix Cornejo and Jim Wells County Constable for Precinct 3 Jim Long hosted a singular back-to-school event to help 15 area students receive free school supplies and backpacks.
“I am sure walking in, and not having and not being equipped is already strike one of them not wanting to go to school," said Cornejo. "So if there is anything we can do to just make that first day better for them, that is what we wanted to do."
With back-to-school shopping in full swing, Cornejo, with the help of others, raised more than $800 to help parents and their kids start the school year off right.
“So what we ended up doing is got a list and got in contact with the local constable in the area, Jim Long, and just went out and bought the school supplies for those specific children that are going to Orange Grove ISD,” he said.
Not having school supplies is a reality that can leave children feeling embarrassed when they show up for the first day of school empty-handed.
“I knew we were going to have money left over so I contacted Orange Grove ISD," Cornejo said. "Specifically Mr. Henderson, (who) was one of my teachers in Orange Grove, and we figured: Any leftover money, we would donate it to Orange Grove ISD where they are going to open an account and have a specific fund for those children in need of school supplies.”
The small town of 300, near Lake Mathis, is full of hard-working families, but for some it's still a struggle to buy all the tools kids need.
“We can do great things when everybody works together,” said Cornejo.
This is the first of many school-supply drives to come for the small community of Sandia.
“The gratifying part was: I have never been able financially to do something like that, to give back," Cornejo said. "I have always been able to give back time, but this was kind of, to be honest, it was a feel-good for me. I know I will never get to Heaven through the front door, so hopefully someone can sneak me in through the back.”