GARLAND — Along with other volunteers, Veronica Thomas enjoyed stuffing school supplies inside backpacks.
Soon, children will be carrying them into classrooms as they begin the next chapter in their education journey. Garland Community Action Group is hosting its Back-to-School Celebration from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 11, at the ballpark complex, 211 Church Ave., Garland. Saturday’s event will mark the third time community volunteers came together for a back-to-school celebration.
Thomas was one of several volunteers who spent time putting materials into bags.
“I think it’s good for the community to come together in unity,” Thomas said about the upcoming event. “I wish we could all get together next year and do one big event, instead of individual events. It’s good for the community to come together as one.”
Registration is set for 10 a.m. and lunch provided by Sister and Sister Catering will be served around noon. Volunteers plan to distribute book bags after the meal. In the meantime, a variety of activities are going to be available. Some of them include a bouncy house for children and an ice slushy truck sponsored by Mr. and Mrs. Ollie Robinson.
“It’s a pleasure to be able to do some of these things for the kids where in need and we enjoy working with each other,” said Volunteer Mary Brown.
Jimmy “Pacman” Packer Jr., owner of Pacman’s Barbershop on Ingold Avenue, is one of several sponsors of the backpack giveaway and free event.
“We just want the kids to come out and have fun and we want to give back a little,” Packer said about being a major contributor.
He also showed appreciation for other supporters such as D&R Auto Sales, Garland First Baptist Church and the Town of Garland for their contributions.
“Hopefully, it’ll be a good turnout, Packer said.
Garland Community Action Group was formed to provide events such as the upcoming back to school bash. Some of the festivities include an Easter Egg hunt celebration, the Community Day and Parade in October, Trunk-or-Treat for Halloween, and a Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremony featuring caroling, refreshments and a visit from Santa Claus.
The work of the group began through the North Carolina Small Town Economic Prosperity (NC STEP) program developed by state officials to help towns facing economic hardships. Funding came to an end, but the volunteers continued their efforts by hosting events, with the assistance of town officials and businesses.