A local charity which has been accumulating book bags and school supplies for the needy said the distribution will be held on Aug. 18 at 5 p.m. at the CenturyLink parking lot on North Bridge Street.
The drive is coordinated by I Support My Community, an all-volunteer charitable organization focused on youth development. CenturyLink is a sponsor of the book bag drive. Additional businesses will be at the drive to help distribute supplies.
Last year, about 117 children throughout the greater Elkin area received a book bag and school supplies before starting school at Youth Awareness Day.
“None of the kids had to go through any awkwardness of going to school only to discover they don’t have their own book bag or supplies,” said Farando Best of I Support My Community.
Best is also the owner of Midtown Barber Shop. In 2013, Youth Awareness Day was celebrated in the parking lot that sits adjacent to the barber business.
“One of our sponsors paved the way for better space, so we’re moving the activity there. Remember, this is not about us. It’s about the kids… We appreciate CenturyLink and other businesses helping,” said Best. “If anything, last year proved that so many kids are in need. It’s best we put all of our resources together to get the book bags into the hands of the kids most needy.”
Best discussed his passion on seeing kids with the right tools. As a barber, Best hears stories from a diverse set of residents who say they need a leg up in order to survive in today’s economic climate.
“Many parents want a quality education for their kids, but the bottom line is that they’re struggling financially. That’s why if you are better off financially, or have a business and want to be part of this drive, we ask you to join us. We want no money. We want book bags. We want supplies. Become part of something that’s changing the lives of kids around us,” he said.
Best said in addition to school supplies, refreshments will be served to include hot dogs. “I don’t care what I have to do, I’m feeding the kids, too,” he said.
Donations are accepted through Aug. 16. All businesses are asked to deliver the items to Midtown Barber Shop. All businesses also are encouraged to be part of the distribution. “I know that businesses are taking time out of their day to help the kids. This is a welcoming environment for all. Any business who wants to join us should do so,” said Best.
According to Best, the grassroots efforts by I Support My Community includes one-on-one outreach. Volunteers blitz summer camps, sporting events, and neighborhoods to help identify kids in need. All donations stay local and none of the supplies are shipped out-of-area.
I Support My Community is on Facebook. Children or parents requesting a book bag are encouraged to register in advance on Facebook.
Anthony Gonzalez may be reached at 835-1513 or on Twitter @newsgonz.