Local non-profit needs your help to provide kids with back-to-school essentials

Published 12:28 am Sunday, June 25, 2023

Prior to the pandemic, New Beginnings Ministries would spend one day every week in July with the children of Port Arthur. The Christian-based nonprofit would host a type of Bible school where children would gather and eat.

One day co-founder Beverly Holland was standing in the parking lot when a young girl came up to hug her.

Making conversation, Holland asked the child if she was excited for the upcoming school year.

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The child was not.

“She got really embarrassed and said, ‘I don’t have any underwear so when I go to school the kids make fun of me.’” Holland said. “It broke my heart. Here’s a child that lives probably six blocks from where I live. And we need to do something about that. Yes, they need supplies, but they also need the necessities to go back to school.”

Since then, New Beginnings has handed out new socks and underwear each year during the Willie Carter Outreach Center’s back-to-school event.

But this year, some of the 1,500 children served during the July 29 event may not have the socks or underwear they need as New Beginnings is suffering a shortage of donations.

“I don’t know what it is,” Holland said. “This year we don’t have the support we normally do. Previous years we’ve had people, churches and other organizations help support us. Not that we don’t still have some, just not as many.”

Johnny Hulin, executive director of the Carter Center, is also trying to drum up support for New Beginnings.

“That’s been one of my major partners, and this year they’re really struggling to meet their quota,” he said.

New Beginnings Ministries is in need of donations of socks and underwear to provide to children during this year’s back-to-school event. (Courtesy photo)

New Beginnings

Formed in 2008, New Beginnings works year-round to help the residents of Port Arthur.

“We work mainly with those in need,” Holland said. “And not just people living on the streets…we work with people in homes that aren’t quite making it.”

In addition to joining the annual back-to-school event, New Beginnings provides food and clothing giveaways, Christmas giveaways and hosts a children’s program.

July 10-14 from 5:30-7 p.m., they will host a Vacation Bible School for children ages 4-11 with bilingual volunteers in order to serve everyone in the community. That takes place at the headquarters on the corner of 7th Street and Liberty Avenue.

And in October, they host Handbags of Hope. The group collects new and gently used handbags that they fill with toiletries and pass out to women in need.

How To Help

New Beginnings is mostly in need of girls’ underwear from size six to 16 and all sizes of socks for girls and women as teenagers are also served during the event. They are also in need of all sizes of boys’ underwear and socks.

While the nonprofit is home based, they operate in coordination with Ecclesia church at 5900 9th Avenue. Donations can be brought there Tuesday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. For more information, email newbeginningstx@hotmail.com.