By TOMIE LUNSFORD
Telegram Staff Writer
Firemen show up when needed regardless of whether there's flames.
The Temple Professional Firefighter Association, Local 846 agreed to sponsor the 15 children who were without Backpack Buddies.
'Last week we were contacted by Jefferson Elementary and asked to help 15 more students from their school,' said Carol Lynch, coordinator of the Backpack Buddies, a ministry by Churches Touching Lives for Christ that works to provide low-income students with new school supplies and backpacks each year.
Another 15 needed to be added to the 1,100 students already on the list.
'It doesn't sound like a lot, but all our churches had already committed to helping all they could,' Ms. Lynch said.
She was prepared to do the extra work to find more Backpack Buddy volunteers, but a phone call saved her from the stress.
'I got a call (July 22) from the Firefighter Association, and a man told me he had read your article in the paper,' Ms. Lynch said referring to a Faith page story in the July 12 edition of the Telegram. 'And he was wondering how they could help. He said they have funds for this sort of thing and wanted to use them to help kids in our community.'
So Local 846 issued Backpack Buddies enough money to sponsor all of the extra children.
'This is a huge help to us,' Ms. Lynch said.
The firemen were eager to come to the rescue.
'We had some extra cash, just sitting there doing nothing. We're a non-profit organization, so we try to find different organizations and places we can go to help people out,' said Stephen Lane, the treasurer. 'I read the article in the paper, and I thought that would be a good avenue to go. Some of our school kids needed help, and we were glad to do it.'
Ms. Lynch takes the firefighter' show of support as a sign that the Backpack Buddies project is turning into a cause backed by the entire community.
'Everybody's getting behind this,' she said. 'It's great.'
Backpack Buddies still needs help. To volunteer or donate supplies, contact Carol Lynch, at 254-742-0806.