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The start of the school year can be tough enough, but throw in problems at home, like a need for the basics like food and clothing, and it could seem impossible

Many people think of Christmas when they hear Mission of Hope, but the non-profit is busy year round providing hope and relief to the those in need in rural Appalachia.

This time of year, school supplies are the charity's focus.

Things like paper and pencils or new scissors and crayons might be taken for granted by many people, but not the children and teachers at Elk Valley Elementary School in Campbell County.

"We [students] are 90% free and reduced [lunch] so they don't have a lot of things that other kids have, so they

really need free and nice school supplies for the beginning of the year," said principal Nancy Lay.

The start of the school year can be tough enough, but throw in problems at home, like a need for the basics like food and clothing, and it could seem impossible.

"Every time we come it's an affirmation of why we do what we do. It's well needed because the challenge in rural America is great, and we are so glad to be able to help the children," said MOH director Emmette Thompson.

And while the kids are very excited at all their new stuff, it seems the volunteers from Sevier Heights Baptist Church and other volunteers are receiving the greatest blessing.

"You've been refreshed and renewed, being able to help and do a good deed for these children," said volunteer Cindy Cruze, a member of Sevier Heights Baptist Church.

If you would like to help Mission of Hope or get more information, go to their website.

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