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Linda’s Lighthouse helps hundreds with back-to-school needs

Linda’s Lighthouse lit the way, figuratively, for hundreds of families getting ready for a new school year.

Ashford Garner, left, gives Morris Martin IV a haircut during Linda’s Lighthouse Back to School event at Empowerment Church.

Empowerment Church, 3600 Memorial Blvd., was the scene of the Fourth Annual Back to School event on Saturday with free school supplies, physicals, wellness checks, haircuts, hairstyles, lunch, live entertainment and more.

Linda’s Lighthouse, a non-profit community outreach organization, is named after Linda Griffin Lucas, who was an avid supporter of the growth of greater Port Arthur. The outreach is named in her honor.

Her daughter Amber Lucas said the event has grown through the years with more than 500 attending last year’s event.

“We want to do what we can to help,” Lucas said. “We’re not a cookie-cutter organization.”

The organization sponsors scholarships, works with youth and more.

Alicia Mugg, left, Ariel Scott, Amber Lucas and Ashley Mayfield pose for a quick photo at a wellness booth during Linda’s Lighthouse Back to School event at Empowerment Church.

“The goal is to make sure nobody goes to school without supplies,” she said.

The church was divided into sections with vendors in one area, hair cuts and hair styles in another, food, snow cones, drinks, giveaways and areas for kids to play and dress up for a photo booth photo.

She said a lot of times the family doesn’t have the resources needed so they help.

In another area of the church Lucas, a registered nurse, joined fellow nurse Alicia Mugg, licensed vocational nurse Ariel Scott and nurse practitioner Ashley Mayfield, where they met with event patrons.

Mayfield is from Port Arthur and lives in Houston. She is community oriented and comes back whenever she can to give back.

Over in the ‘barbershop’ Ashford Garner, another Port Arthur native living in Houston, was busy giving Morris Martin IV a haircut. The child’s mom, Patran Martin, held a cell phone with a video playing in front of one of her other children to divert his attention as he got a cut with her older son nearby getting his school trim.

“This is good. It’s amazing,” the mom said. “It’s a good turnout.”

For more information on the organization, go to www.lindaslighthouse.org.

Gabriel Jimenez, left, and Raphael Jimenez, pose for a photo in the photo booth during Linda’s Lighthouse Back to School event at Empowerment Church.