Crowds estimated to be over 1,000, stretched a block long waiting to register to acquire several hundred backpacks and school supplies at the Project New Life annual Back-2-School event, held Saturday, August 22.
The all day event was held on the Abundant Life Ministries, 3433 Douglas Avenue. Pastor Elliott Cohen said his church almost did not sponsor the activities this year. “The success and huge turnout shows we are a value to our community,” Cohen said of the 10-year-old giveaway.
He said that their Back-2-School Event was able to serve as a stopgap for an earlier give-away sponsored by the City of Racine, where they had to turn 300 students away after running out of backpacks. “We were able to serve those students that were missed today,” Cohen explained.
Trene Walken, 16, who attends Abundant Life Ministries, said that she volunteered to serve food and hand out backpacks. “The event is very helpful and needed. I’m having fun doing it,” she said.
Dreamer Neal has two children in the Unified School system and thought she would not have been able to buy supplies for them because of the economy this year.
This was the first time Walgreen’s on the corner of Douglas Avenue and Yout Street offered free photos to students and parents. “We want to get involved in the community,” says Michelle Ramos, Head Photo Specialist. She, like others, believes that this event will benefit many of the families that attended it.
There was an array of activities for the overflow crowd. Local barbershops donated free haircuts to 325 students.
Pleased with the events success, Cohen said that he and his staff have already began planning for next years activities.
For information, you can call 262.898.3268.