by Amy Hill
On Saturday, August 8, Operation Give Back (OGB) hosted their 2020 School Supply Giveaway event for the upcoming school year. St. Barnabas helped support with the recent school supplies collected and backpacks purchased with Outreach funds.
It was a glorious day for the backpack giveaway. Osterman Cron, a business down the street from OGB donated their circular parking lot. There were so many applicants that they moved 40 families to Friday night.
Because of safety concerns, 550 backpacks were pre-packed by volunteers with school supplies for each age group, K-1, 2-4, 5-8, and 9-12. The upper grades were supplied with scientific calculators for high schoolers who needed them, and regular calculators were supplied for grades 5-8, if needed. Tents were set up for three stations with display tables. Each age group had six backpacks from which to choose. Families were checked in at OGB (in their car) and then sent down to the backpack stations. Paperwork was on their windshield to let volunteers know how many backpacks for each child and directed to a station. No one got out of a car, and once a backpack was in the car, it could not be exchanged for another one.
There were so many checks and balances during the entire process for safety. Families were vetted several times, and no one was turned away as long as they met the demographic criteria.
Volunteers worked in two-hour shifts. Donated masks were given away to any family who needed them. Hundreds of volunteer hours went into the planning before Saturday morning. It was a great day!
Thanks to all who provided donations!