Contactless school supply drive offers resources to students with special needs

Local News

ABILENE, Texas (KTAB) – About 200 backpacks stuffed with school supplies will soon be delivered to students with special needs, the coordinator behind the bags says it’s all in effort to provide relief to families that could be struggling during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Jamie Thomas, Region 14 and 15 coordinator for the PEN Project which serves families of children with disabilities, is organizing the school supple drive.

The drive was originally planned as a back-to-school event where families could meet area agencies face-to-face, but Thomas says that plan had to quickly change as COVID-19 forced families to stay home for their own safety.

Most of the supplies were donated or purchased by Thomas and are awaiting transportation from her dining room table to the families they’ll help. The coordinator says it’s a small inconvenience but one she’s willing to make so families with ‘medically fragile’ children won’t have to venture to stores.

“It’s a small sacrifice to make so that these families don’t have to go out fight the crowds for school supplies,” said Thomas.

The backpacks are also being packed with fliers containing information on mental health programs, housing help and other resources. Thomas says this is being done to share valuable information with parents all braving the unprecedented pandemic.

The recipients of the backpacks either reached out to the PEN Project or vice versa.

To contact the PEN Project call: 806-762-1434 or email the organization at

To contact Thomas for information on donating school supplies call 325-450-2774 or email her at

For more information on the PEN Project visit

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