Updates and Aftermath

THIS INFORMATION IS FROM LAST YEAR’S FESTIVAL.  For more information about 2014 Back 2 School Festival please go to: www.back2schoolfestival.org

_____________________________________________

Until I get a chance to write a proper update here are some posts we have made in our Back to School Festival FB page.

Here is a newspaper article that was written about the Festival: http://www2.wataugademocrat.com/News/story/Back-to-School-Festival-draws-500-kids-id-012218

Calls of Thanks:

We continue to be encouraged by the Back to School Festival. Parents are calling into the Children’s Council every day thanking us (the community) for hosting such an event. This is so rewarding and only proves that while one or two may feel this sort of thing is owed to them, MOST are very deserving and extremely grateful for the support and relief.
We served over 500 children with school supplies. Thanks to the generous donations of quiet givers and churches throughout the community we had enough! 150 children got hair cuts, we handed out $800 worth of Goodwill gift cards as well as hundreds of items of clothing. Every pair of shoes was claimed. The Children Council handed out over 200 beautiful brand new books and families learned about beneficial services in the community. Girl Scouts waived all membership fees which allowed 11 girls to join the scout troops. AMAZING. So blessed to call Boone my home.

A church saves the day!

Oak Grove Baptist Church saved the day yesterday by bringing us another supply of 2-3 inch binders. They had no idea we needed them but the binders were some of our most requested items for older kids. We were taking names and school info of the kids that needed them so we could try to get more and bring them to their social workers/counselors. Oak Grove delivered enough binders in the middle of the festival to supply the rest of the kids that needed them AND cover the kids who didn’t get one earlier.

One mother came back to get a binder for her child and broke down in tears thanking up for the help. Her husband passed away recently and this festival offered relief in a time of financial and personal hardship. Beautiful.

I spoke with the pastor after the festival and he said that box had been misplaced and they just happened to find it in the middle of the festival.   He said the man who loves to serve volunteered to bring it over.  – Perfect timing!

Only in Boone:

Residents and former residents of the Hospitality House (homeless shelter) selflessly served ALL DAY long. They stayed and helped clean up after the festival as well.  Kids from Bradford Trailer Park helped us set up all day on Thursday as well.  Such a sweet time in the community. THANK YOU!

UPDATE 8/11/13:

Overwhelmed with gratitude for all the men and women who served so selflessly today. I cannot say enough “thank yous” to all the generous people of Watauga County who opened your hearts and donated to help supply school supplies and backpacks to children of Watauga County. We welcomed over 500 children! Local stylists cut 150 heads of hair. I wish you could have seen the excited faces of girlsand boys as they left with a beautiful haircut!

Families were so good about being honest about what they needed and didn’t need. They were so grateful. We had so many tear filled conversations with parents who were overwhelmed with gratitude.

We are happy to say we were able to provide backpacks to every family that needed one.. even after we had already started packing up for the day. We had enough school supplies left over to help soldiers who have been stationed at the Armory for weeks. They have been quietly serving in our community, leaving their families and paying jobs behind. We were able to pack boxes of school supplies for school counselors and social workers to hand out the first week of school. We also packed backpacks for WYN kids.

THANK YOU so much to the families that waited patiently and with happy hearts. Your attitudes, patience and understanding are what have inspired volunteers to want to do this again. Here is to an amazing 2013-2014 school year!

“This was truly one of the best things I have helped with in my career 🙂 I love Boone! Thank you for making this such an incredible community to live in!” Angela McMann of the WYN

http://www.westernyouthnetwork.org/wordpress/