A Back-To-School Boost

Melanie Berryman

Neese District Secretary Melanie Berryman, executive board member of the Madison Area Resource Team (M.A.R.T.) the Family Connection Collaborative of Madison County, at the 9th Annual Back-to-School Supply Drive

Melanie Berryman, Neese District secretary, wears several hats under the umbrella of the Madison Area Resource Team (M.A.R.T.), the Family Connection Collaborative of Madison County.  She is serving as an executive board member for this year’s 9th Annual Back-to-School Supply Drive.

The event has grown each year, nearly tripling the number of those served from the first effort in 2003.  More than 500 dinners were prepared and more than 300 students received school supplies this year.  Students in need of a book bag had an opportunity to choose one from the hundreds donated. Family enrichment information booths were set-up where a variety of information and guidance was available from local agencies and organizations.

For the school supply drive, committee member volunteers, including Berryman, planned the event, including acquiring, purchasing, sorting and bagging supplies. Then they set-up and served the many low to mid-income Madison County families who participate in the event. 

Jackson EMC, along with other local businesses, churches and individuals, provide donations, support and personnel for the M.A.R.T sponsored Back-to-School Supply Drive. 

“The smiles on all the faces are irreplaceable, but beyond that, family involvement is encouraged, so it’s become more of an event,” Berryman said. “Many door prizes are given away, and the families are so appreciative, even of the smallest of items.” 

“This program enriches our environment and enhances the quality of life in the communities we serve,” stated Jean Mullis, Neese District manager.  “It’s important for Jackson EMC to support programs such as this because they have a direct impact on the future of our communities.”