MONMOUTH, Illinois -
While politicians haggle over the Illinois school funding stalemate, a Monmouth grandma is taking matters into her own hands.
"Make a line, and you can just hand it to each other," said Karla Wallace, on Friday, July 28.
Wallace knows this drill after three years. That's after drawing inspiration from a needy child.
"She did not have a book bag," Wallace recalled. "And I said, you know, we've got to do something. That's what inspired me to do it. It just took off."
Volunteers load item-by-item, box-by-box, It's all free for kids in the Monmouth area and represents a triumph of teamwork.
"If I can't get it, she gets it," said volunteer Theresa Perez. "You know, we keep each other going."
After stepping into action, Wallace spent thousands of her own dollars. The efforts will brighten back-to-school needs for hundreds of area students.
"The kids do need it," said volunteer Brenda Mason. "I think the good Lord put that in her heart."
The noble project is gaining steam these days. More sponsors and volunteers are stepping up to help more kids.
"We're here to give them what they don't have," said volunteer Rochelle Wallace, Karla's sister.
All this comes down to Saturday, July 29, when volunteers will distribute the supplies. Sign-ups begin at 7 a.m., at South Park in Monmouth, 10th Ave. and 8th Street.
There will also be a variety of treats and activities for kids to enjoy.
After a flurry of preparations, Karla Wallace and her crew will be ready for the big day.
"Seeing the smiles last year from the kids," she concluded. "It just felt good to know that I was doing something to give back to the community."
They'll be giving back with free school supplies and a lot of kindness in Monmouth.