BEAM host back to school event for 19th straight year | News
JACKSONVILLE BEACH, Fla. -- BEAM hosted a back to school event Saturday for the 19th straight year, providing needy children clothes and supplies for the start of the next school year.
Kristen Hayek brought her son Chase to the Beaches United Methodist Church to get clothes and school supplies she could not otherwise afford. The Beaches Emergency Assistance Ministry served approximately 1,000 children at Saturday's event.
School age children leave with gently used clothing, new socks and new underwear, and shoes. They also get a new backpack and new school supplies.
"Things that most people just take for granted , and they would not be able to do, and they are very appreciative and patient, and we love doing it," said Sue Glawe, chairman of the event.
Children can get a haircut if they'd like. They are also provided with a hot dog, snacks and a drink for lunch. Hayek says it is all extremely helpful.
"I like the people that you meet just in line at the start , you have people who have the same issues, don't have a lot of money to spend on school supplies and clothes, the community coming together, pulling together for kids that need it, it's really an awesome experience," said Hayek, who was among hundreds of parents who attended to help their children select items to take home.
It could not happen without volunteers, young and old. Volunteers work two weeks beforehand to sort and bag items donated by the community. At least two volunteers were over 90 years old according to event organizers.
"We probably have 300 volunteers that are here today, yesterday we had 150 to 200, the last couple of weeks we've had 50 to 60 people helping everyday, it's a big community event," said Glawe.
Hayek's son Chase could be heard saying "Thank You" as he left the church with several items that will help him get off to a great start when school begins.