8/3/14 Randy Fernandez, 4, of Redlands receives a backpack filled with school supplies Saturday at the Redlands Police Department and Micah House Back2School Jam and Resource Fair at Sylvan Park. Volunteers from both agencies worked to fill 1,200 backpacks Friday starting at 6 a.m. Photo by James Carbone
Backpacks filled with school supplies are stacked and ready for children Saturday at the Redlands Police Department and Micah House Back2School Jam and Resource Fair at Sylvan Park. Photo by James Carbone
Days before youngsters are expected to head back to the classroom, Micah House and the Police Department gave out more than 1,000 new backpacks filled with school supplies Saturday at Sylvan Park.
The collaborative Back2School Jam and Resource Fair was made possible thanks to donations from local businesses, churches, community organizations and city and county agencies with the goal of easing the stress of having to buy supplies and boost the confidence of low-income students.
“If they are successful, we succeed,” said Officer Elyzabeth Green as she surveyed the park for a moment.
Both Micah House and the Police Department have held similar efforts on their own but decided to partner as a way to reach more residents, said Dianna Lawson, a Micah House program coordinator.
Volunteers from both agencies worked to fill 1,200 backpacks Friday starting at 6 a.m. and continued throughout the day just in time for Saturday’s giveaway. Around 200 were guaranteed to be area students who participated in a cleanup effort around town.
Leftover backpacks will go to the San Bernardino and Redlands school districts and other community groups, Green said.
Other highlights from Saturday’s event included music, food giveaways, a bike rodeo and information booths.
Participating groups included the Redlands Quality of Life Department, Second Baptist Church, Trinity Church and a la Minute.
By Kristina Hernandez, Redlands Daily Facts