Disadvantaged students get help with school clothes, supplies: 'It's a real blessing for us'

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      EUGENE, Ore. -- About 40 students from Cesar Chavez Elementary School filled a backpack with free school supplies Saturday. Afterward each student went shopping at Valley River Center with a mentor for a $150 school clothes shopping spree.

      Parents like Sarah Curry, who has a daughter going into 3rd grade, said the generous donation from the Eugene Active 20-30 Club will better prepare her child for the school year.

      "It's a real blessing for us. We were at a point where we didn't know how we were going to do school clothes, so when the school called and said 'hey, do you want to do this', I was all on board," said Curry.

      JR Laing was one of the 20-30 Club members who helped organize the donation. She says she wants every student to feel proud and stand tall each day they walk through the classroom door.

      "It kills me. It's like, how can you not go to school feeling totally prepared? That's what I hope they get with the school supplies, and with the volunteers I hope they know there are people in the community that care," said Laing.

      The club chose Cesar Chavez Elementary because it's a Title 1 school, meaning the school receives grants to help cover school costs for disadvantaged students.

      "They're not given the same opportunities as some of the other kids because of financial situations, so coming to school dressed as the other kids, having the new tennis shoes or Nike shirts is very important to our kids," the school's principal, Denisa Taylor, said.

      "Knowing that she's going to have stuff that fits her when she goes into school makes her feel better, makes us feel better and it's a benefit and a blessing all around," said Curry.