Zamaria McCall (left) and Zari Brown (right) accept book bags from volunteers Karen Owens and Lillian Herbert during last year's book bag giveaway. This year's event is set for Aug. 3 at the Greenville YMCA. (File Photo)
Zamaria McCall (left) and Zari Brown (right) accept book bags from volunteers Karen Owens and Lillian Herbert during last year's book bag giveaway. This year's event is set for Aug. 3 at the Greenville YMCA. (File Photo)

Archived Story

Bookbag giveaway set for Aug. 3

Published 8:33am Thursday, July 18, 2013

Though the list of reasons to be awake at 8 a.m. on a Saturday morning is very short, the Greenville Area Chamber of Commerce is looking to provide the proper incentive on Aug. 3.

Butler County students in kindergarten through eighth grade and their families are invited to come and pick up one of several hundred backpacks filled with school supplies from the Greenville YMCA.

“This is a great opportunity for the city and the Chamber to come together and help these children and their families,” said Francine Wasden, Greenville Area Chamber of Commerce executive director.

“These kids are so deserving, and they’re looking forward to school and getting back into the swing of things. And so, during this economic downturn, we’re just hoping that we can help take a little bit of the burden off their parents as far as the school supplies and the costs that come with it.”

The backpacks are filled with school supplies, ranging from notebook paper, notebooks, pencils, pens, rulers, crayons, construction paper and more, and are sorted by the appropriate grade level.

The bags are being given away on a first-come, first-served basis and, although the process is a brief one, parents will be asked to fill out a form with basic information, including name, address, phone number, email, the child’s name and school grade.

During last year’s giveaway, the chamber managed to hand out 500 backpacks in roughly 50 minutes, and that expediency is a goal that Wasden hopes to match, or exceed, this year.

“I think last year was the first year that we’d done something like this, as a citywide endeavor to put all of this together,” Wasden said.

“It was a good turnout, but I’m thinking that we’re going to have a larger crowd this year.”

The giveaway will fall on the tax-free holiday weekend, in which local businesses in Butler County negate sales tax on items pertaining to school.

Wasden said that the scheduling of the giveaway was not unintentional.

“We just want to remind everyone to take advantage of that during the weekend for other things that they might need,” Wasden added.

“And please shop at home. If you can get things right here in Greenville, it really helps our local businesses.”

Although the money has been raised for the 500 backpacks and supplies that are to be given away this year, the Chamber is happy to receive donations in any form, whether they be monetary or in the form of volunteer help.

Backpacks cost approximately $15, and those looking to help a child and make a donation can make out a check to the Greenville Area Chamber of Commerce.

For more information on how to donate to the cause, contact the chamber at (334) 382-3251.

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