HONEA PATH, SC (WSPA)–Anderson School District Two provided more than 400 backpacks for students on Friday. The Third Annual Back-to School Giveaways were held at Chiquola Baptist Church, in Honea-Path, and Belton First Baptist.
“Our main objective is to have students have backpacks and school supplies the first day of school, so they can go in confidently, and say I’m ready to be a life-long learner,” said Teresa Phillips, Mental Health Service Coordinator, Anderson School District Two.
The bookbags were stuffed with things like notebook paper, crayons, coloring pencils and more.
“All of the supplies that we have today are donated from local churches and their congregations,” Phillips said. “We have volunteers from churches, from community organizations, that come in and give up their time.”
Three men from a celebrate recovery ministry called, “Broken Chains”–also helped.
“I think we have filled 80 bags or more bookbags for the children this year,” said Paul Morgano, Broken Chains. “It’s important for us to let kids know that they can depend on people like us, or good bikers that are out there,” Morgano said. “Any kid that needs things, we need to let them know that they can ask people for help, and that’s our biggest thing is to make sure the kids are covered.”
Some people said the assistance they received, was needed.
“I look forward to this every year. It helps our family so much,” said Marlene Velez, a parent.
“It’s great. Not many people do it. Most people are about other things. They ain’t worried about the kids, and it’s actually really good and it helps a lot of families out that can’t do it,” said Trinity Whiten, another parent.
One seventh grade student said he would take backpacks to others.
“Because there’s people out there that’s struggling through these times, that can’t afford the money to get people school supplies,” said Ayden Bradley, student.
Families were able to grab clothes and hygiene products, if they needed them.
“We have a clothes closet that just wanted to come up and offer up those clothes if families needed those kind of things to get ready. We’ve had some hygiene products that were donated for our families, to say hey if you need some items, please feel free to take them as you can,” Phillips said.
For the first time, the district also had an area for families to learn about the resources available in their communities.
“I think coming together as a community is a wonderful thing to see,” Phillips added.
Phillips said if there are any backpacks left, they will be available at schools. Phillips encourages anyone in need, to reach out to your school counselors or leaders.
Classes will begin for all district students on August 17.