ST. PETERSBURG – All around the Sunshine City last Sat., Aug 16, backpack giveaways were in full force. Executive Director of Childs Park YMCA Deborah Figgs-Sanders decided to go all out this year and not just have a giveaway at the YMCA; she decided to take the show on the road.
Since seeing an overwhelming response from corporations and private donors such as County Commissioner Ken Welch, she decided to do something a little different this time around. For families that may have difficulties traveling to the Childs Park YMCA location, two mobile units were outfitted with some 200 backpacks stuffed full of supplies.
The Northside Boys and Girls Club of the Suncoast, located at 1035 Burlington Ave. N., had a YMCA bus parked out front handing out backpacks and the Carter G. Woodson African American Museum, located at 2240 9th Ave. S. in Jordan Park, not only had school supplies but food and all around family fun.
Beaming Hope Church had another one of their community block parties, which always include free food, clothes, haircuts, face painting and this time school supplies in the parking lot of Pinellas Technical Educational Center, 901 34th St. S. The church does these giveaway parties about once a month, but since it was the weekend before school started they decided to make it back-to-school themed. Stay connected to find out when and where the next community block party will be at www.beaminghope.org.
And last, but certainly not least, was pro baller Marreese Speights’ 2nd Annual Backpack Giveaway held at Childs Park Recreation Center. Even though he could not attend because he was in training, Team Speights, which includes his mother, sister and a host of other family members and friends, were out in full effect. Over 600 backpacks stuffed with school supplies were given out.
Figgs-Sanders is still holding out hope that in the future she will be able to combine resources with some of the other backpack giveaways throughout the city to help ensure that every family in need is provided for.