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25 Mathews students receive a Fresh Start for school

Hands Across Mathews and Mathews County Social Services joined forces during September to hold the annual Fresh Start Back to School Shopping.

In a usual year, the selected 25 Mathews students and an accompanying volunteer ride school buses to Walmart to buy clothes and necessary items for the start of school then return to the county for a picnic lunch.

This year the format was changed because of the coronavirus and social distancing requirements, a release said. Each parent signed a contract and received a Walmart gift card allowing for in-store or online purchasing. By the end of September, every parent had complied by returning the itemized receipts and the gift cards.

Lauren Oden with Mathews Social Services said that this process went very smoothly and that the parents and children were extremely pleased and grateful.

Funding for Fresh Start was supported through a grant from the Mathews Community Foundation and anonymous donors. Fresh Start coordinator Shirley Ryan ...

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