7-21-20 Backpack Bash.jpeg

It’s time for the fourth annual backpack bash sponsored by the Henderson County HELP Center and Salvation Army Athens. The event will be held from 9 a.m. to noon Saturday, July 25 at 805 N. Prairieville St. Participants will enter on Prairieville Street and exit Palestine Street.

This can be an expensive time of year for many parents, and the HELP center and Salvation Army offer this relief as a way of helping the community. With COVID-19 this year is even more difficult for some families with job losses and time off of work.

Athens ISD is providing free supplies for students kindergarten through fifth grade, those students will be able to receive a free backpack during the event.

Students sixth through twelfth grade can receive a backpack with supplies.

“We will ask the student which school they attend,” said Cathy Arnold, president at HCLP.

All students in Henderson County are welcome to attend. This year's event will be a drive-thru on a first come, first served basis. The group also provides essential information along with the school supplies.

“For those that do attend the drive-thru event, please do not get out of your vehicle. We will come to you,” said Leslie Saunders, executive director at the HELP center and board member of S.A. Athens unit.

When it comes to donations, Saunders said donating to your local Salvation Army is best.

"Every donation given to the local service units stays in Henderson County,” Saunders said. "Administrative and overhead fees are waived, unlike donations made to the national S.A."

It is important to remember when the red kettles and bells are ringing during the holidays that those donations stay within the community for events such as this.

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