It was 15 days before Christmas, and Shantel Day was a little girl when her mother abandoned her and her three siblings and left them with their paralyzed grandmother. A school bus driver and a substitute teacher took note of the situation, and when school started the following year, Shantel and her siblings got to go shopping for new clothes, courtesy of their two benefactors.
Years have passed and now Day, a Vice President at Northstar Bank in Argyle, is the chairman of a local fundraising drive for Argyle ISD students in need put on by the Communities Civic League, Inc.
The Back to School/Angel Tree program is an annual effort where clothing, backpacks, shoes and toiletries are collected and donated to local children who wouldn’t otherwise have the things most children get to start off a new school year.
“This is my heartbeat,” Day said. “It was community members reaching out to me that made a difference in my life, and this is my way of giving forward and showing these kids the love of God.”
Funds for the ever-growing program will be collected during the month of July, and donation boxes are set up in businesses and churches throughout Argyle and Bartonville. Residents might spot little red wooden school houses where donations can be dropped off. There are 10 such little houses, built by Argyle residents Mickey and Bill Faust.
The need is so great this year that the CCL has cancelled their annual golf tournament this fall so that all of their resources can be focused on the Back to School/Angel Tree program.
Last year, the organization provided over $6,500 that helped more than 66 children. This year, Day said they anticipate around 100 children will qualify for assistance, and that means they need to raise $10,000.
“In order to make this year’s program a success and continue the great work the CCL is doing, we really do need the public’s help,” Day said. “We are asking residents to give whatever they can in financial support to help us achieve our goal of raising $10,000. It is our hope that no child is left unsupported that has a need. We want the kids to know we love them and that they count.”
The names of the children are mostly received through the schools in the Argyle ISD, but parents can call Day at 940-565-1386 to get an application, or pick up one at Northstar Bank in Argyle or Argyle Town Hall.
Volunteers will go shopping at Kohl’s in Flower Mound, where Day said the manager gives the non-profit organization special discounts.
CCL currently has 15 members, according to Day, who said they would love new members to join their efforts. If you are interested in becoming a member, call 940-565-1386 or visit the group’s website at cclargyle.org.
The group serves the community year round, and they also provide gifts for needy families at Christmas.
The Argyle ISD may represent a small community, but Day says local residents have a large heart.
“The community is so giving and so loving. The attitude is like we are blessed, so let’s be a blessing to others,” she said.
Argyle and Bartonville locations where you can make a donation to this program include: Paradise Food Store, Subway, Snooty Pig, Andrew’s Restaurant, Bartonville Store, Johnny Joes, Giovanni’s Pizza, Lone Star Country Store, Argyle Feed Store, First Baptist Church of Argyle, Argyle Church of Christ, Papi’s Tex Mex, Northstar Bank, Point Bank, and Kwik Kar in Argyle.
Pictured above from left to right: Hannah Gladys, Tina Gladys, Bobby Louis, Samantha Gladys and Madison Gladys volunteered their time to refurbish the schoolhouses used for collecting donations for the CCL Back to School/Angel Tree program. Mickey and Bill Faust (pictured right) built the houses.