Project HELP collecting supplies for homeless students

Golden Triangle Association of Realtors Community Service Committee Chair Kerri Matthews collections school supplies and monetary donations for Project HELP. (Submitted photo)

Staff Writer

Project HELP is collecting uniforms, school supplies and personal hygiene items for homeless students in the Starkville-Oktibbeha Consolidated School District.

“Project HELP is a grant and donation based program through Family Centered Programs at Starkville schools,” Emerson Family Resource Center Office Manager Kelli Phelps said. “It provides uniforms, hygiene supplies and school supplies at the beginning of the year to children who fall under the category of homeless in the school district.”

Phelps said most people’s view of being homeless is really different from what being homeless actually is.

“A lot of it is these students don’t have a consistent living environment or house,” Phelps said. “They might be staying a friend’s house one night, or their grandmother’s house one night or their aunt’s house one night, so they don’t have a consistent place to call home.”

Golden Triangle Association of Realtors Publicity and Public Relations committee member Libby Gerald said the Golden Triangle Association of Realtors Community Service Committee raised monetary and school supplies donations for Project HELP for their summer project as a way to give back to their community.

“People really want to do things to help other people, especially children,” Gerald said. “It was a win-win situation for everyone. If we can help make our school system better, it helps us, and if we get to help children, that makes it even better.”

Phelps said donations to Project HELP are welcome year-round. Items from the Starkville-Oktibbeha Consolidated School District school supplies list, school uniforms for middle school and elementary school students and personal hygiene items such as shampoo, soap and deodorant are accepted.

To donate to Project HELP, contact Family Centered Programs at the Emerson Family Resource Center at (662) 615-0033.