ABILENE, Texas (KTAB/KRBC) – Sharleene Jacques and her brother own Hearts Barbecue and just like any other food truck, they collect tips. What sets them apart is what they use those tips for.

“A hundred percent of our cash tips go to buying school supplies and backpacks. The people of Abilene are very generous especially when it comes to tips and so we decided to collect all our cash tips to go towards the backpacks,” Sharleene Jacques explained.

Her and her brother have owned Hearts BBQ for six years and in the last few years, have donated their tip money to ensure students have school supplies.

“My brother and I truly love the community of Abilene; I mean it’s a great community and we just wanted to fit in somewhere where there was a need that needed to be met,” Sharleene Jacques expressed.

In 2020, they donated 30 backpacks. In 2021 they donated 75 backpacks and this past August, they donated 225. The want and need for the supplies continue to rise and Jacques is aiming to donate over 500 more before next school year starts.

“There were so many children that we even had to turn away and that breaks my heart, and so I think this is why this next year, I want to do at least 500,” Sharleene Jacques explained.

Cash tips aren’t the only way people can donate.

“If they want to donate actual school supplies and actual backpacks that would be fantastic. I usually start stuffing all the bags the first week of July,” Sharleene Jacques explained. “So, if I could get the supplies the first week of July, that’d be great.”

Once donated, students and their families are able to get their supplies the first Saturday in August in the parking lot of Drug Emporium.

“And we picked that date because it’s before the tax-free weekend. Now, we can’t, and we don’t put every single school supply that every single child from every single school needs,” Sharleene Jacques explained. “So, if there’s additional items that they need they’re able to purchase them on that tax free weekend.”

Although that seems a long way from now, every donation matters to ensure a child has what they need to succeed.

“If anybody wants to sponsor with a cash donation or supplies, if they want to get a hold of me, I would greatly appreciate it,” Sharleene Jacques expressed.

You can find more information on donations and receiving a backpack and contact Sharleene directly through Heart’s BBQ’s Facebook page.