As the new school year approaches, several organizations are handing out free school supplies.
And since they expect to serve many underprivileged children, organizers are still hoping for donations.
In Houston County, several organizations are coming together to host a back-to-school bash Friday from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. at McConnell-Talbert Stadium.
In Bibb County, there are at least five such events in the next two weeks:
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The first is from 4-7 p.m. July 29 at the Hutchings College and Career Academy on Riverside Drive. The event will offer health screenings for students and parents, refreshments and inflatable rides for students.
Last year, the event served 388 children, and organizers expect about 400 this year, said Ira Foster, an organizer. Several community organizations are hosting the event.
“We realized the importance of children having school supplies when they go back to school,” he said. “We wanted to partner with the school system.”
To donate supplies, contact Foster at 478-955-8662.
At 8 a.m. July 31, The Mentors Project will distribute school supplies at Ballard-Hudson Middle School, Bloomfield Middle School and Miller Middle School -- first come, first served.
From 11 a.m.-2 p.m. Aug. 2, there will be a Back to School Bash at the Chick-fil-A on Bloomfield Road. It will include school supply giveaways, goodie bags, face painting, games, an ice cream bar, a “moon bounce,” and live music by Sufficient Grace.
From 9 a.m.-3 p.m. Aug. 9, back-to-school giveaways will be available at the 4th annual Canes Cheerleader, Car and Bike Show/Swap Meet at Rutland High School on Skipper Road. Call 912-287-1028 for more information.
Organizers across the area have been gathering paper, folders, pencils and other school supplies for children.
In Houston County, organizers have 2,000 backpacks for students so far, but they could always use more. Last year, the number of children who showed up doubled the amount of supplies, said Kimberly Green, with the Houston County schools social services department.
“We have more book bags than supplies,” she said. “The supplies coming in have been a little thin this year.”
Organizers encourage the public to donate supplies by dropping them off in donation bins at local Walmarts. In Houston County, that includes the two stores in Warner Robins and the Perry store.
The Houston County event includes free haircuts for children and refreshments.
“It’s very important. One of the basic things the child wants to show up to school with is their basic school supplies,” Green said. “We sometimes don’t think too much about it, but for some parents, it’s not attainable for them. This is a great opportunity for them to relieve some of that stress.”
To contact writer Jenna Mink, call 744-4331.