MARY MEAUX — Numerous Port Arthur resident giving back through back-to-school giveaways

Published 12:28 am Wednesday, August 2, 2023

Two local organizations are offering back-to-school events to help students get ready for the new school year.

Linda’s Lighthouse will host the 8th Annual Back to School Event from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday at Thomas Jefferson Middle School, 2200 Jefferson Drive in Port Arthur.

Another upcoming event is sponsored by Kanisha Williams of Kay Collection XXII. She will host a Back to School Event from 1 to 6 p.m. Aug. 12 at The Pavilion, 522 Procter St. in Port Arthur.

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Linda’s Lighthouse

Christopher Bates, vice-president of Linda’s Lighthouse, said students would receive free school supplies in a backpack.

Unfortunately, the backpacks are mesh, Bates said. Port Arthur Independent School District administrators last week announced they are changing policy and requiring clear backpacks only.

The notice came after the backpacks were purchased for the giveaway, but organizers hope students can find another use for them.

“The most important thing is that it will be filled with school supplies,” Bates said.

There will be vendors distributing different types of information, there will be a DJ and a live band and a photo booth in addition to an arts and crafts station, face painting and free lunch.

Bates said they have volunteers offering braiding and other styles for young ladies during the event.

There will also be health screenings with the assistance of Lamar State College Port Arthur Nursing Program and Nurse Practitioner Alicia Butler.

Sports/athletics physicals will be offered, and Toddrick King will be set up to give COVID vaccinations for all who want one.

Kay Collection XXII

The Aug. 12 school supply giveaway will be Kanisha Williams’ first time hosting a school supply giveaway.

There will be backpack and school supplies giveaway, special guest speakers from local schools, performances, Moonwalks, face painting, dunking booth, train ride, gaming truck and games.

“It is a blessing and bigger than I expected,” Williams said of the event. “This is for the community, not just PAISD.”

Williams said she has 100 backpacks ready for the giveaway.

A number of free haircuts will be offered on site. A second barber is unable to attend but there will be raffles for free haircuts, as well as a raffle for Chick- fil-A gift cards.

There will also be musical entertainment by DJ Jack Swagger.

More than 20 pop-up vendors will be on site with a variety of food and other items.

Williams is a local businesswoman who started Kay Collection XXII, a hair company in 2018.

“It’s growing and growing,” Williams said of her business. “I’ve always wanted to give back, and this year I went with it.”

Williams also owns Certified Trucking.

Mary Meaux is a news reporter at The Port Arthur News. She can be reached at