Monday, 22/1/2018 | : : UTC-5
Harker Heights Evening Star
Harker Heights Evening Star

P.O.W.E.R. supports local CIS families for the holidays

P.O.W.E.R. supports local CIS families for the holidays

Special to the HHES

For the third consecutive year, Communities In Schools (CIS) of Greater Central Texas received a generous donation of toys, clothing, books and supplies from People Offering Wisdom Empowerment and Resources (P.O.W.E.R.). The donated items of more than $2,000 will benefit more than 50 families using CIS services within the Killeen Independent School District. Since the non-profit organization’s inception, P.O.W.E.R. has supported nearly 300 CIS students for the holiday season.

With operations in Killeen, Las Vegas, NV and Atlanta, GA, P.O.W.E.R. was founded three years ago by Joshua Sharon of Killeen, who runs the local operations, along with a friend in each of the other two cities. The organization’s purpose is to provide emergency assistance and human services via clothing, food and other items to families in need. “Our mission is simply to bring the community together and make it aware of its collective power through active participation,” said Sharon. “We can do more good for those in need if the community pulls together for a common cause.”

P.O.W.E.R.’s donors currently come from friends, families, businesses in the community and their extended networks. “Our donations for CIS are from caring people in the community,” said Sharon. “We use social media, word-of-mouth, friends in the community, phone calls and other networking outlets to raise awareness of our goals to assist families in need. The community has been more than generous with its response thus far.”

Sharon contacts the local CIS office each October for a list of students/families who may not otherwise have a cheerful holiday season. “We just want to make sure we could provide a Christmas experience to as many children as possible that may not otherwise have one,” said Sharon. In addition to assisting the local CIS, P.O.W.E.R. has donated goods to more than 300 CIS students in Fort Worth, Las Vegas and Atlanta.

Michael Dewees, executive director of CIS of Greater Central Texas, said, “Our students do not have a traditional Christmas or holiday as many other students. Coupled with our annual shoe drive, P.O.W.E.R.’s donation helps bring a little normalcy and happiness to our students who otherwise would do without a simple toy or article of clothing for Christmas.”

In addition to enlightening the holiday spirit of these CIS families, P.O.W.E.R. began working on its goal of tackling hunger both locally and nationally by launching the P.O.W.E.R. pack program recently in Fort Worth where Sharon is a graduate of Texas Christian University. He said, “P.O.W.E.R. provides food to 10 kids over the weekends between school meals. If we can grow the program and find funding, we plan to bring the pack program to Killeen as well.”

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