A local girls’ association provides school supplies to children in need

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From the time she was in kindergarten, Montgomery County resident Baily Cowart knew she wanted to help others. Her passion for helping children get needed school supplies led her to start small fundraisers. By age 8, Cowart had founded his own 501(c)(3) nonprofit charity, BE Blessed, to continue his mission of providing backpacks and school supplies to those in need.

It all started when she realized at a young age that without the proper supplies, children cannot pay attention and learn in school.

Cowart started with small events to raise money to buy school supplies. Although she’s not a fan of lemonade, she didn’t let that stop her fundraising and instead set up sweet tea stalls. Cowart also started selling toys that she no longer played with. For her birthdays, she asked for donations of school supplies instead of birthday cards. She even decided to give prizes to those who chose to participate.

Over the years, her donations have grown from a small supply cart to full sets of school supplies and student hygiene kits.

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In 2019, Cowart’s first official year as a charity, she raised nearly $19,000 in cash and supplies and donated over 400 hygiene kits, 125 full sets of supplies, 20 pairs of shoes and countless other boxes of supplies that were all donated to 3 different Conroes. ISD Schools. She had the support of many local businesses, her local Faith United Methodist church, and several fundraisers to make 2019 a resounding success.

“Bailey’s generosity is an inspiration and a reminder that we can all make a difference,” said Angel Fultz, longtime Cowart supporter and gold sponsor of his 5k fundraiser. “No matter where you are in life, each of us can do something to make the world a better place, even if we’re only affecting another person’s life. I can’t wait to see Baily and BE Blessed grow over the years and serving more and more people, and I’m just honored to support its mission.

Baily's BE Blessed Warehouse Backpacks

Although difficult in many ways, 2020 has been an incredible year for BE Blessed. Cowart’s first-ever major fundraiser raised over $6,000 in 5 hours, plus a $5,000 grant from a local family foundation. Through these and many other fundraising campaigns, she collects final donations and supplies to double the amount of school supplies donated in 2019. In 2020, Cowart raised over $42,000 in cash and gift donations. supplies, providing a total of 250 sets of supplies, 175 pairs of shoes, 150 hygiene kits and 88 feminine hygiene bags across 6 campuses in 2 wards.

“Baily has a passion for helping others and a huge heart,” said Stephanie Cowart, Baily’s mother. “She is convinced that children need their basic needs met to succeed in school. We are so grateful to our community and the support we received from our neighbors to make Baily’s passion a success.

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Each year, based on feedback from school administrators she meets, Cowart makes changes and improvements to her giving. In 2020, before the pandemic, she chose to spend more money on backpacks so that the quality would be better and last longer. She also opted to add reusable water bottles to each supply set. This seemingly minor change has proven important for students during the current pandemic. In addition, the organization has expanded its offer to include hygiene kits and new shoes, so that children have their basic needs met in order to focus on their education.

BE Blessed is currently hosting a donation campaign, which will end on May 29, 2021, and is partnering with several local organizations, clubs and schools to collect donations for backpacks for the 2021-2022 school year. Learn more about the donation drive here: www.bailysbackpacks.wixsite.com/beblessed/event-details/spring-2021-donation-drive.

There are many ways for the community to get involved and help out. For more information, email bailysbackpacks@gmail.com, visit the website at www.bailysbackpacks.wixsite.com/beblessed or visit the Facebook page at www.facebook.com/ bailysbackpacks.

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