Johnny and Angie Gonzales organize donations Thursday for the Community Volunteer Program’s annual School Supply Giveaway. (Amy Vogelsang Photo)
It’s almost that time of year again; summer is quickly coming to an end and students are already in search of next year’s school supplies. But for single parents, trying to provide multiple children with the extended list of pencils, notebooks, markers, erasers and other necessities can be a challenge. That’s where Johnny Gonzales comes in.
Gonzales has been heading up a collection of school supplies every year for 30 years.
“We try to help the kids,” he says simply. “There are a lot of needy kids.”
And for Gonzales, he believes education is what really matters.
“(The best part is) seeing the kids one day get a degree from college and see how they are now owners and managers … and I helped them when they were little,” Gonzales says.
He describes a dorky little girl and how he has had the opportunity to see her grow into a young woman and eventually an adult graduating college.
“I see the change, and even though (providing school supplies) is a small thing, now I see them and rejoice because I had a part,” he states.
Boxes were stacked as organization of supplies already donated took place Thursday at 210 E. 3rd St. Gonzales and Angie Gonzales were joined by City of Roswell community service volunteers to organize various supplies into labeled boxes.
Gonzales also organizes free haircuts for the boys and his wife shops for new clothes to start the girls out. Kids will also sometimes ask Gonzales to pray for them as they enter new grades and new challenges or face struggles with grades.
Gonzales says they already have 1,300 kids registered to receive supplies and will probably end up with a total around 2,500. Registration is at 7 p.m. at 210 E. 3rd St. on July 20, 27 and 31 and Aug. 3 and 7.
Anyone who wants to donate can drop supplies off at 1101 Caminisito St. They especially need erasers and plastic pencil boxes, Gonzales says. They also need volunteers to make school bags.
For more information contact Johnny Gonzales at 624-7579 or firstname.lastname@example.org. A check can also be written, made out to Community Volunteer Program and sent to P.O. Box 2790 Roswell, NM 88202.