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Operation School Uniform: The Barnes Family

Families living in homeless shelters are faced with sending their kids back to school without the clothes and supplies they need to begin the school year.

That`s why NewsChannel 3 partnered with `My Help, My Hope` Charity to generate some generosity.

Five-year-old Lauren is jazzed about going to kindergarten.  And back-to-school shopping is the icing on the cake!

Lauren’s mom, Christy Barnes, had high hopes for providing for her daughter until she lost her job nearly a year ago.  Yet, she beams with a mother’s pride knowing that she has prepared her little one academically.

“She’s been in private pre-school prior to me being unemployed, but she’s been ready for regular school since she was three.”

Christy is back to work, but unemployment drove her to the Dwelling Place Homeless Shelter for an opportunity to get back on her feet.

Shelter director Ilona Webb Brunner says she is working hard to regroup.

“She does a three-hour bus ride to get to work, but she’s committed. Every day I see her leave our shelter and go to the bus stop, there’s always a smile on her face,” says Ilona Webb Brunner, the Dwelling Place Director.

That’s the smile that greeted us when we told her that NewsChannel 3 was picking up the tab for her back-to-school shopping.

At the check-out line, we learned just how pricy back-to-school shopping can be.

We were a little over budget, so we turned to our friends at Walmart.

Assistant manager Renea Banks was only happy to help.

“We want to be able to give back to our customers because they do give a lot to us, so we are here to present you with a gift card to take care of the overage,” says Banks.

If you would like to help, click here for more information.