With school gearing up in Middle Georgia within the next few weeks, some local agencies are lending a helping hand to parents who need assistance with getting school supplies.
Sharon Rogers, resident services/program coordinator for the Warner Robins Housing Authority, said the sixth annual community-wide Back2School Bash will be held from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. July 31 at McConnell-Talbert Stadium. The housing authority, the City of Warner Robins, Central Georgia Technical College, Houston Healthcare, Houston County Habitat for Humanity and several other agencies are partnering for the bash, Rogers said.
“We’re partnering with most of the agencies in Warner Robins ... we have about 25 agencies that are helping,” she said.
Five thousand book bags filled with supplies, including crayons, pencils, pens, glue sticks, composition notebooks and wide/college ruled paper will be given away during the bash, Rogers said. In addition, volunteers from CGTC will provide free haircuts for boys and there will be free hot dogs and drinks and a bouncy house.
“We are targeting people who don’t have money to purchase the supplies,” she said.
Parents will receive one ticket per child, and the children must be present in order to receive a book bag, Rogers said. About 25 vendors also will have free giveaways.
About 40 airmen from Robins Air Force Base have volunteered to help with crowd control.
Volunteers will be setting up for the bash Wednesday and will be stuffing the book bags at the Warner Robins Civic Center beginning at 10 a.m. Thursday. People interested in helping may contact Rogers at 478-256-4711.
In Fort Valley, the annual Back 2 School Bash will be held 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Aug. 15 at Festival Park, 310 Martin Luther King Drive. In addition to free school supplies, there will be free food and drinks, a disc jockey with music and bouncy houses.
There will be a sign-in table for parents in order to see what schools are being served, and Martha McAfee, city administrator for Fort Valley, said parents must accompany children to the event. The event is for preschool through college-age students.
The event is sponsored by the I Think I Am Foundation, Houston Drug Action Council, The Diplomats Fraternity and The City of Fort Valley, McAfee said,
McAfee said she is still looking for vendors who are willing to set up in the park and give out school supplies, along with information about their organizations. Businesses and organizations interested in participating in the event or willing to donate school supplies can contact her at 478-957-5673 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. Kids Yule Love has also put out boxes at the fire station, the police station and city hall for individuals who want to donate school supplies.
Another Backpack Giveaway, primarily supporting Northside Elementary, will be held at 10:30 a.m. Sunday at Westside Baptist Church, 1101 Dunbar Road in Warner Robins.
“(We’re) doing a specific service geared toward kids. ... (It’s) a different church service and a little shorter,” said T.C. Cooley, children’s pastor at the church.
Cooley said parents should plan to register about 10 a.m. with the church service following at 10:30 a.m. Registration will open again about 11:30 a.m., and then the backpacks will be handed out. The event will be for students in kindergarten through fifth grade and for special needs students and is expected to end about 3 p.m.
After the supplies are picked up, Cooley said the families can enjoy inflatables, games and free food on the front lawn.
“We are already planning for next year to be bigger,” he said.
For more information, contact Westside Baptist at 478-785-1024
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