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Highland Lakes Family Crisis Center wants to help families in need during one of the most stressful shopping seasons: back to school.

Through August 14, the center is connecting donors with students via its Adopt-A-Student program to make sure kids have needed school supplies. 

“It’s very similar to what we do at Christmas time with our Adopt-A-Family or Adopt-A-Child program,” said the Crisis Center’s Conny Steele.

Students range in age from kindergarten to high school seniors, so needs will vary.

“The high school kids, the items they need, they can be kind of frightening,” Steele said. “They need the special calculators, or X number of colored binders, earbuds, all that. At the opposite end, you have kindergartners that need the special mat for naptime.”

If you’d rather not shop for the supplies yourself, the center will accept monetary donations. After purchasing a backpack, the average student will need about $40 worth of supplies.

In previous years, the Highland Lakes Family Crisis Center has donated as many as 75 backpacks filled with supplies to students. This year, donations of school supplies are down — Steele’s guess is it’s due to COVID-19 — so the center organized the Adopt-A-Student program. 

“We’ve got a lot of kids that could really use a little bit of extra help getting ready for school,” she said. “That’s why we put that out on Facebook, and I’ve been bombarded with phone calls so far.” 

With school starting soon, Steele asks that donations be made by August 14 to give Crisis Center staff enough time to hand deliver the supplies, a precaution they’ve had to take to reduce the risk of spreading the virus during pickups at the center.

Call the Highland Lakes Family Crisis Center at 830-693-3656 and ask for Conny Steele. She can help you “adopt” a student or family or donate money directly.