Hands Across Mathews and Mathews County Social Services joined forces during the month of September to hold the annual Hands Across Mathews Fresh Start Back to School Shopping program.
The eligible 25 Mathews students each received a Walmart gift card for buying clothes and other necessities. They signed a contract designating approved purchases and then returned the itemized receipts.
Lauren Oden with Mathews County Social Services stated that this process went very smoothly and that the parents and children were extremely pleased and grateful for the opportunity to shop in person or online. One child was so happy, Oden said, “that she didn’t have to wear ‘hand-me-downs’ on the first day of school!”
Funding for the Fresh Start program was supported through a grant from the Mathews Community Foundation and anonymous donors. Fresh Start coordinator Shirley Ryan said she is thankful for these gifts that provide a “fresh start” for these children for the school year.
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