Lockhart grandmother organizes school supply drive to send off 2,000th backpack
Not everyone is lucky enough to get a backpack from grandma, but Connie S. Amaya is working on bringing that number up. With the help of her husband, Louis L. Amaya, her grandson, and the Lockhart community, Amaya is hoping to give out her 2,000th backpack on July 22 with lots of other goodies in tow.
So far what's gotten her closest to 2,000 has been her own retirement money: According to a release by Amaya's grandson, John Mathew “JMAT” Bernal, she purchased 1,800 backpacks on her own, and now she's asking for help in the form of a community backpack drive.
Amaya spent 46 years with the Lockhart ISD as a secretary, along with Louis, who spent 30. The couple was used to seeing how many new purchases the back-to-school season brought, and knew that backpacks were often the greatest financial burden of the bunch.
“I have always enjoyed helping the students in my community," said Amaya. "Being part of this community I know that parents have it hard. I was one of those parents. All I want to do is help any way I can. Every backpack I give out, I know that the students are set up for success.”
Now they are collecting those big-ticket items with "5,000 Crayola crayons, pencils, and many more school supplies she has purchased, along with donations," wrote Bernal.
The pick-up event will happen from 9 am to noon at AutoZone (625 S. Colorado St., Lockhart), where students of all ages will each get to pick out their favorite backpack to take home for free. All backpacks were purchased by the Amayas and their family and friends. Others can donate funds via chulaleague.org.
“Over the years, since I started the first backpack drive, I’ve learned more about the stories and hardship the students and the parents have," said Amaya. "Those stories are what keep me and my family going in wanting [to] make each year bigger and better. I love my community. Go, Lions!”