On August 1st, hundreds of volunteers arrived early in the morning at the ABC 13 KTRK-TV parking lot to stuff backpacks for kids in need. Volunteers worked in a large air conditioned tent resembling a well-constructed assembly line. Thousands of school supplies were stacked in boxes, while giant containers of backpacks were brought in to be filled with necessities such as notebooks, pencils, rulers, and markers. The tent was buzzing with excitement and energy as volunteers worked to make sure each backpack was ready for its future owner. At the end of the day, all of the stuffed backpacks were loaded into large trucks and moved to Moody Park in the Near Northside in preparation for the Back to School Fair.
The annual event took place on August 3rd at Moody Park Community Center. During the event, residents were able to get a free health and dental checkup from ABC Dental and Legacy Community Health, register to vote, and purchase Metro Passes. Avenue, Friends of Northside, HCC, Wesley Community Center, BakerRipley, and many other partners were in attendance to provide resources and information to families. Children beamed with joy as they received their brand new backpacks. Parents were filled with relief as the financial burden of purchasing school supplies was lifted off of their shoulders. Community partners, leaders and volunteers were everywhere ready to help and provide support.
For fifteen years, State Representative Jessica Farrar and her incredible team have organized the annual Northside Back to School Health and Resource Fair. For fifteen years, thousands of families and students have been able to start the new school year ready and prepared to learn thanks to the effort of the community coming together to make a difference. This year, a backpack was given to over 1,200 students who may not have had one otherwise.
This legacy of supporting children’s education and success embodies the commitment and love the Northside community has for one other. We are so proud to have been a part of this legacy for so many years, and are grateful to Representative Farrar and her team for their efforts to improve the lives of Northside families.