JACKSONVILLE, Texas (KETK) — Jacksonville ISD and the Chamber of Commerce raised more than $20,000 to buy school supplies for teachers and students. Grace Traylor with Jacksonville ISD says 85% of the students in the district are low-income and have a hard time getting school supplies.

“We have a high, high number of economically disadvantaged students in our district on every campus, and it makes it very hard on parents to be able to supply school supplies here,” said Grace Traylor, Jacksonville ISD Communication Director.

Some teachers are even using their own money to help students. That’s why the chamber of commerce started getting donations to help take the burden off of parents and teachers.

“It’s going to put smiles on the teachers, it’s going to put smiles on the kids, they’re going to have something they can put in their desk, their backpack and be able to do their homework,” said Peggy Renfro, president of the Jacksonville Chamber of Commerce.

According to a new study done by savings.com, school supplies could be double the price that parents paid last year.

“With everything that has been going on, this is just our opportunity where whenever the teachers come back to school, they can shop here locally in their own school,” said Renfro.

The Jacksonville Chamber of Commerce says they have been donating school supplies for about 17 years, but this year due to inflation and supply chain issues the chamber focused on the most essential items.

“We feel like the paper, the pens, and pencils are something that you’re going to need throughout the year and that’s what we are focusing on this year, ” said Renfro.

Traylor said Jacksonville ISD is beyond grateful for everything the chamber is doing for their teachers and students. They hope they can continue this tradition for years to come.

“The chamber actually uses our own school supply list, so they’re in good shape when they get there, they have everything they need,” said Traylor.

This is the first delivery of school supplies to each school. The Jacksonville Chamber of Commerce will be purchasing another order for each.