As the daughter and grand daughter of life-long educators, I have always been exposed to stories of children who did without when they went to school. I have been taught that you help when you can, in whatever way you can.

DeWanna's story made me think about a time that I visited a local school for work one Fall. I went into the office, and a little girl was sitting in a chair. The child, who was in the first or second grade, was obviously very sad. The secretary told me that she had come to school with holes in her shoes, and that one had fallen apart completely. My heart broke into a million pieces. I left school, went to WalMart, and bought that child some shoes.

I don't relay that story to show myself a hero. I do it to show that there is a real need. What DeWanna has decided to undertake is remarkable, admirable, and more needed than any of us care to admit. Wouldn't it be so much more remarkable if we all helped, too?

If you know a teacher, ask her or him what it does to a student who doesn't have what he or she needs to start school, or how he or she feels when they know they don't look presentable. They will tell you the lack of a proper uniform and supplies affects learning. Most teachers pick up that slack out of their own pockets, and we all know they carry enough of a burden!

I stumbled across her effort, DeWanna's Community Closet, on Facebook. She's starting her efforts for the 2018-19 school year early with a school supply drive right now!

I noticed that several businesses have stepped up to the plate already by donating either money or supplies. How heartwarming that so many people are responding. However, as you will see in the video below, this wonderful woman has set a tremendous task before herself and she is asking us to help.

Her mission is displayed on her Facebook page:

A surprising number of students in Southwest Louisiana lack essential resources necessary to succeed. DeWanna’s Community Closet knows that teachers have the unique ability to identify these students and are now providing them the opportunity to meet these needs. Calcasieu Parish educators can come to DeWanna’s Community Closet and acquire school uniforms, belts, jackets, underwear, socks, shoes, backpacks and school supplies. These gifts are free of charge and are available by emailing us. If you would like to make a donation to help us better serve these students in need, please contact DeWanna Tarver at

You can also call (337) 274-6629 for more information or to make a donation.

Give what you can. Honestly, DeWanna is doing the heavy lifting!

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