Howe man gives side job earnings to buy school supplies for local kids

HOWE, Tex. (KXII) -- School starting can be stressful for some teachers.

Many teachers pay out of pocket to furnish their classrooms, some even providing supplies for low-income students.

A Howe man is hoping to lift that burden a little.

"I just love to learn," Howe Elementary first grader Joi Garrett said.

Garrett and Howe Elementary second grader Cooper Finney can't wait to get to class on Monday.

Of course, the start of school means new supplies.

"Backpacks," Garrett said.

"My new crayon box with sharpies," Finney said.

That's where Ron West is stepping in to help.

He grew up in Howe and went to school there

West works full-time as a farm hand, but he runs his own mechanic business on the side called Ron's Roadside Repair.

The reason? He wanted an extra way to help people.

"Luckily I had enough jobs come in, I was able to do such a thing," West said.

His third job...three kids of his own, two at Howe Elementary.

"I've just been putting those profits together and I've been collecting it to get school supplies with," West said.

So he filled 24 backpacks with things like markers, paper, and notebooks to donate, about $500 worth.

It's all based on the supply list for Howe Elementary, which is kindergarten through 4th grade.

His donation is inspired by his childhood.

"I've been on the needy side of things a few times in my life and I remember it wasn't a good place to be in. I just felt that while I'm able to help I'm going to," West said.

"We thank you very much, we thank them very much," Howe Elementary 3rd grade teacher Stephanie Hawkins said.

She said he's not only lifting a burden for teachers, but making a difference in children's lives.

"Because it's a stresser for a child not to have the supplies they need, just like it would be a stresser for an adult to go to a job and not have the tools they needed to do that job," Hawkins said.

She provides a few supplies for students who can't afford them, and says many teachers do this out of their own pocket.

To Hawkins, simple school supplies like glue and pencils are necessary for a child's education.

"To do and create and demonstrate what we've learned and to actually do the learning," Hawkins said.

West hopes to show his kids the value of giving to those who need it.

"I want my kids to see that it's an alright thing to do," he said.