Back-to-school giveaway gives kids chance to succeed

(WHAM photo)

Rochester, N.Y. - As families get ready to head back to school, there was a huge turnout Monday for a back-to-school giveaway at Edgerton Recreation Center.

The back-to-school giveaway is helping to give kids a chance to succeed.

Monday's event more than doubled in size from last year, going from 500 kids served to 1,200. The community came together in a big way to get kids excited to hit the books.

A line stretched around the block, with hundreds of parents and kids hoping to start the school year strong.

Lora Thomas has seven kids.

“I want to see my kids go somewhere in life," she said. "I want them to be a doctor or nurse. They (Community members) are going out of their way to help us out, help us with our big families, and just can't really do it all by ourselves. It shows a lot of love and support.”

Many parents agree, relieved to get the last-minute support.

“It's a blessing that you can get book bags, clothes - some parents can't afford it - and sneakers and stuff,” parent Stephanie Davis said.

“I want them to feel real comfortable in their clothes,” Latoris Thomas, a father of seven kids, added. “I don't want them to worry about anyone picking on them.”

Khadija Yawn and Pastor Melvin Cross organized the cookout to give school supplies, clothes, haircuts and styles to local families, with local barbers setting up shop in the building.

“This is a big time for kids, and also a big time for parents,” Wade Davis Jr., owner of Wade and Me Salon, said. “Going back to school, a fresh hairstyle, a fresh haircut will lift their spirits and give them a great start to a great year.”

Organizers say the huge crowd shows how much need is in the community.

“If we didn't have this, I don't know what the parents would do,” Cross said.

“We got their back, and we want to see their children do just as well as they do for school,” Yawn said.

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