Just Joel’s owner collecting busloads of school supplies for students in Tri-Cities

KENNEWICK, Wash. — Joel Watson is at it again.

Watson, owner of Just Joel’s Cafe, started a Facebook fundraiser called “Beats by Joel” that raised over $25,000 in one weekend to buy headphones for Tri-Cities students that will be starting the school year with remote learning.

Now, he’s got an even bigger goal in mind: filling three school buses with school supplies for local students — one for Kennewick, one for Pasco and one for Richland.

It’s called the “Cool Kids Supply Fundraiser,” and according to Watson, it’s already off to a roaring start.

Watson posted about his idea to fill busses with school supplies Sunday to the 37,000 followers on his restaurant’s Facebook page. The popular page doubles as a source for Watson’s favorite memes and updates on his latest ideas for giving back to the community.

Two weeks starting tomorrow !!! Got my bus !!!!! We will be collecting supplies during our business hours !!! #TogetherWeCan

Posted by Just Joel's on Sunday, August 9, 2020

Watson said he’s already gotten school supply donations from the Kennewick Walmart, Fred Meyer, Griggs, Prestige Motors, and his Facebook inbox is full of new messages from people trying to help. As of Monday afternoon, Watson estimates that he’s already received enough school supplies to fill a quarter of a bus.

He said he’s gathering general school supplies for grades K-12. Donations can be dropped off at Just Joel’s Cafe located at 1505 W. Kennewick Ave.

People or businesses who have questions about how they can help can contact Watson by sending a message to the Just Joel’s Facebook page.

He said donation boxes will soon be set up at The Village Bistro and Jiffy Car Wash in Kennewick.

Well played fellas !!! Appreciate you guys !!#TogetherWeCan

Posted by Just Joel's on Monday, August 10, 2020