DURHAM, N.C. (WNCN) — With school right around the corner for traditional-calendar students, thousands of families got some help to make sure their kids have all the supplies they need.
On Thursday, the Durham Rescue Mission kicked off their annual backpack giveaway to help local families get prepared for the new school year.
The tradition dates back years and every year the giveaway gets bigger and better.
Those at the Durham Rescue Mission stuff the backpacks with the most-needed supplies to help kids get back to the classroom prepared to excel.
“Many needy families in our community are just one paycheck away from being homeless. Our Back-to-School Pep Rally and Backpack Give-away sponsored by GSK is a blessing to many families in the Triangle who are struggling,” wrote Dr. Ernie Mills, co-founder and CEO of the Mission. “Our goal, as always, is to provide children with the tools they need to get excited about going back to school — all of which is possible because of our generous sponsors and tireless volunteers.”
More than 3,500 backpacks full of school supplies were given away to needy children on Thursday. In addition to that, 1,500 bags of groceries and 12,000 articles of clothing were also given away. Kids were also able to get basketball and soccer balls.
If the giveaways weren’t enough, there was plenty of food to go around, too. Cooking teams prepared 5,000 hot dogs and 850 pounds of barbecue, plus fixings.
In addition to all the supplies and food, kids were also able to enjoy an inflatable slide, snow cones, balloons and carnival games with prizes.
There were also be prize drawings held throughout the event. Lucky winners could win one of 20 bicycles, 10 TI-34 calculators or one special Nintendo Switch bundle.
Preparation for the event began Wednesday at 3:15 p.m. and the event officially got underway at 9 a.m. Thursday, but families lined up hours beforehand to ensure they got a backpack. The day’s events wrapped up around 1 p.m.
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