The store room of the Gibson Bethel Community Center was piled high with large cardboard boxes full of donated back packs and brand new school supplies before the 10th Annual Back Pack Give Away, when over 300 packed back packs were given away to area youth just before the first day of classes.
The fall holiday spirit was in the air on give-away day as center staff filled the back packs with goodies prior to the kids’ arrival. “We’ve had such a great response to our outreach efforts,” said Parks and Recreation Director Lorenzo Woodley.
South Miami Middle School and South Miami Senior High School volunteers Jonathan Gonzalez, Janiqua Warren, Chanel Adams, Jamelia Warren and Lauren Taylor were as busy as elves stacking tables with piles of note books, crayons, pencils, pens and erasers, to be loaded into the back packs.
When the back packs are ready, they are restacked in the boxes and placed on dollies to be delivered to the display area in the gymnasium. Every year hundreds of area families gather at the center in anticipation of this annual fall school year event. Live music and food add to the festivities.
“Our sponsor support this year has been tremendous,” said Woodley. “We have had at least 50 to 60 individual families sponsor the kids (in addition to corporate sponsorship).”
Ed’s Boot Camp, Alliance for Youth, South Miami Hospital and Peak 360 are some of the area business sponsors that helped make it possible for hundreds of neighborhood students to start school well prepared with the tools they need to foster the joy of learning.
The 2013 Back Pack Give Away will be August 15. Sponsors are encouraged to sign up early. To find out more about how to get involved call Gibson
Bethel Community Center at 305-668-7232.