Manos de Cristo Serving 2,000 Low-Income Children with School Supplies and Free Dental Screenings for Parents 

Austin nonprofit agency Manos de Cristo is set to help thousands of Central Texas children, Pre-K through 5th grades with their annual Back-to-School program July 24-28. The program prepares low-income students for the school year by providing each child with two sets of new clothing, socks, underwear, and a brand new backpack filled with school supplies. The Back-to-School program will serve the whole family by offering free visual dental screenings for the parents of participating children. Children may also be screened, but Manos de Cristo realizes there are fewer dental resources for adults.

WHEN:       July 24-28, 8:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. Monday – Thursday, and 8:00 a.m. – 10:30 a.m. Friday (while supplies last). 

WHERE:    Allan Center, 4900 Gonzales St., Austin, TX 78702 (Bus options: #4-Montopolis or #350-Airport Blvd.).

WHAT:       Families in need are encouraged to arrive early for the first come, first served, back to school clothing, supplies and dental screenings. Community volunteers will help serve 400 children each day through the program.

For approximately 21 years, the Back-to-School program has made a positive impact on children and families in need in the Austin area. Back-to-School takes place over five days, July 24-28, with the help of nearly 500 volunteers, at the Allan Center, 4900 Gonzales St.

Manos de Cristo will serve approximately 400 children per day. Parents and guardians are encouraged to arrive early in order to participate in the program. The Manos Back-to-School program is unique as it allows children to “shop” with volunteers and choose their own backpacks, clothing, and two books. Each child will also receive grade appropriate school supplies. Participating children will arrive on their first day of school prepared, ready to learn, and with the same supplies and clothing as their peers.

One mother of four children said, “This program makes my kids happy. They get excited over the new clothes and especially the books. Without the help from Manos they would have to wear old clothes from last year. I can’t afford new things every year.”

Children must be present to receive their clothing and supplies. Parents/guardians must bring a photo ID.

The program is sponsored in part by the Maximus Foundation, Cross Texas Transmission, Target, Sendero Health Care, RBFCU, Dell Children’s Health Plan, Little Engine Homecare, Home Health Ageless Living, and many other generous donors. The cost for the agency to provide this service is $60 per child and increases each year. We cannot continue the program without support from the community. Anyone wishing to support the Back-to-School Program, by underwriting the cost of a child’s clothing and supplies, is encouraged to visit www.manosdecristo.org. 

About Manos de Cristo: Founded 29 years ago, Manos meets the essential needs of the working poor by providing adults and children with alow-cost dental care, adult educational opportunities, and emergency food and clothing through its full service Dental Center, Education Program, annual Back-to-School program, and Basic Needs Food Pantry and Clothes Closet.