Kids score book bags, supplies through charity event

By Anthony Gonzalez agoznalez@civitasmedia.com

August 20, 2014

Book bags and school supplies were distributed on Monday evening by local charity known for community give-aways.

A whopping 300 book bags were on display. Children lined up in the parking lot awaiting a chance to get packed on educational items necessary for starting off the school year, and they got to pick a bag that was a best match for them.

After picking the bag, children were further ushered into sections to receive school supplies that were age-appropriately distributed.

The venue was held by I Support My Community, a non-profit organization, who teamed up with area business sponsors such as CenturyLink. The event was held in the CenturyLink parking lot.

The second annual event produced double the amount of children compared to last year.

“Last year, about 117 children throughout the greater Elkin area received a book bag and school supplies,” said Farando Best of I Support My Community. “This year, we did more.”

According to Best, none of the kids have to go through any awkwardness of going to school only to discover they don’t have their own book bag or supplies. “We’ll continue to do this every year. We’ll continue to provide resources for the community. There are no strings attached. If you’re in need, you qualify.”

According to Best, many parents are struggling financially often finding themselves managing households paycheck to paycheck. “Providing a book bag filled with school supplies is not a hand out. It’s actually a leg up for education,” said Best.

Regina Chappell, CSBG director for YVEDDI, was crying as she tried to explain her participation. “I just get very emotional because I see so many kids in need. I know what the struggles are like. That’s what we’re here for. That’s why we wanted to be a part of this,” she said.

Newcomer to I Support My Community was David Robertson of Pittsburgh Glass Works and staff. “This is a great cause. We are happy to put smiles into their lives,” he said.

During the give-away, a random motorist who had extra book bags and was on her way home, stopped on North Bridge Street because she saw all of the excitement.

“I knew exactly what it was when I saw the crowd. I just knew that instead of bringing the book bags to a school that this is where they belonged,” said Kelly Maines of Ronda. “I am so delighted at what’s happening here today. I’m impressed.”

The community organization also distributed hot dogs and chili along with refreshments.

“It made my day,” said Will Bosley, 5, of Jonesville. “Thank you.”

Best is also the owner of Midtown Barber Shop. Joining Best were executives and volunteers from PGW, YVEDDI, and Sonic.

Though the event was held at CenturyLink, there was no representative present for an interview.

I Support My Community thanked the following sponsors: PGW, PVH, YVETTI, CenturyLink, Elk Pharmacy, Duke Energy, Prism Medical, Combs Butcher, Alley Grey’s, Vestal Auctions, Wells Fargo, 100.9 W.I.F.M., Midtown Nutrition, W & W Barber Shop, Saint Holmes Church, Wesley Chapel United Methodist Church, Midtown Barber, and customers of Midtown Barber.

Anthony Gonzalez may be reached at 336-835-1513 or on Twitter @newsgonz.