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Take-charge Marine benefits School Fuel

By Gary Smith

School Fuel is growing and gets support from the university, churches and former Marines. Two hundred and ninety six kids are now fed each weekend.
This past Thursday I helped deliver sacks of food to two schools to feed these 296 students this Easter weekend. We usually deliver to the schools on Friday morning.
The students were off school on Friday for Easter weekend so all the bag-packing volunteers and all the drivers and all of our private delivery trucks showed up at “Command Post” to pack and delivery food to the kids on Thursday, one day earlier than normal.
There were about 25 packing volunteers in the room, all following the direction and orders of “General Aurelia Newton.” I lovingly call her and the other six female leaders who are the brains of the School Fuel operation “generals” as a compliment. They are impressive leaders.
 They feed hungry kids. Or, as Aurelia put it in her prayer she gave Thursday morning, “Help us to feed these deserving kids. We ate breakfast this morning. Some of them did not. Amen.”
As a School Fuel driver, I work for a Marine named Charles Chargois. Once a marine, always a marine.
I like working for him. He got out of the Marines years ago and spent a career coaching and teaching in high schools in Texas. He is now retired and says, “This School Fuel work is the best thing I do each week.”
He wastes no time when we gather to deliver all this food each week. He barks out orders. We do not stand around and discuss what needs to be done. He knows which trucks need to back up where and when to load the huge cargo containers filled with food. I just do what he says. Willingly.
I told him Thursday how much I enjoy not being in charge and how much I enjoy him being in charge of delivery decisions.
He said, “My wife would never believe that anyone said that to me. She is always telling me that I bark out too many orders and that I am too directive.”
I said, “Well, tell her I said I enjoy your Marine approach to this job.” He said, “You will have to put that in writing. She would never believe it if I told her.”
So this article is my putting it in writing, Mrs. Chargois. It may not be easy to be married to a take-charge Marine but they do have their advantages. Like in the School Fuel program.
A new church here in town, Hunters Glen Fellowship, just pledged $200 a month to School Fuel. This $2,400 donation will feed 12 more student for a year.
Two students from Texas State University showed up Thursday with 296 bags of additional food and treats for the School Fuel kids. Ivy Martinez is a senior majoring in Biology. Patrick Freeman is a senior majoring in Sociology. Both belong to a service organization on campus called Human Environment Animal Team. They raised more than $250 in donations including donations from members to provide extra food for the kids this weekend.
I peered inside the bags. Fruit, snacks, and some candy kisses. I called them Easter Bags.
At DeZavala school, a volunteer who distributes the bags to the students each week said, “The kids saw me in the hall this morning and were so excited, knowing they were getting food for the weekend even though they do not have school tomorrow. They will LOVE getting TWO bags!”
Gary Smith enjoys your emails at

San Marcos Record

P.O. Box 1109
San Marcos, Tx 78666
Phone: 512-392-2458
Fax: 512-392-6483