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1,100 backpacks offered at event

Posted: August 2, 2017 - 12:37am
Volunteers from Highland Park Prayer Connection and Amerigroup get ready to distribute backpacks to children at the Charles H. Evans Center and Wood Park.
Volunteers from Highland Park Prayer Connection and Amerigroup get ready to distribute backpacks to children at the Charles H. Evans Center and Wood Park.

Some Aiken and Augusta residents received a little extra help recently in gathering school supplies for their children.

Aiken celebrated Unity Day at Perry Memorial Park with vendors, bounce houses and opportunities for the community to meet Aiken police officers in an effort called "Bridging the Gap."

"We let the children make a bond with the police officers because there's so much violence going on now and the children are afraid of the police because of what they see and hear on the news," co-organizer Melissa Upson said. "It's refreshing to see the children have fun and not be afraid."

Last year was Unity Day's inaugural year, with more than 1,500 people attending. This year, around 1,100 backpacks were handed out, according to Upson.

On the other side of the river, Highland Park Prayer Connections and Amerigroup Community Care of Georgia put on a similar event at Charles H. Evans Center and Wood Park with activities for the whole family and handed out 400 backpacks stocked with school supplies to those who needed them.

"We know it's that time of year when families need help, so Amerigroup likes to make sure we are a part of that and make a tremendous impact," Lisa Rouse said. "We know that families are sometimes on limited resources, so being able to give them school supplies - money that they don't have to spend - that's a really big impact and really does help the family."

Backpacks were available for preschool children to high school seniors, with age-appropriate supplies in each bag.

 

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