Hampton kids receive free backpacks and school supplies

Posted at 1:57 PM, Aug 22, 2020
and last updated 2020-08-23 15:45:19-04

HAMPTON, Va. - As a Mom, Takiyah Wright of Hampton wants her kids to have the best. That's why she showed up to the Back To School Supply Drive, Drive-Thru event hosted by the Hampton Branch of the NAACP and community partners.

"We are very fortunate, you know, to get these supplies and use them to our ability when virtual and when in school," Wright said.

Her family was just one of many to drive away with a backpack full of school supplies on Saturday afternoon.

Inside the bags we packed "[everything from] notebook paper to pencils to crayons to their actual spiral-composition notebooks that they need on a daily basis during the school year," said school board member, Tina Banks-Gray.

To prepare kids for school, the Hampton community showed up in large numbers. Everyone from the police department to the Hampton Branch of the NAACP to the food bank and city leaders.

Police Chief Terry Sult, who was proud to be there, said it sets a great example for the community. "When they see us all coming together, caring for the individual child, it really makes a difference in the community and builds trust," he said.

COVID-19 changed their original plans for the school supply drive so instead President of Hampton's NAACP, Gaylene Kanoyton helped organize a drive-thru. She told News 3 "we're giving out bookbags, the census is being taken, we have voter registration and the food bank is giving away baskets to the first 100 people."

She said they wanted to have a little something for everyone.

In total they handed out about 500 backpacks so virtual or not, kids of all ages will be ready in September.

Anton Bell, the Hampton Commonwealth Attorney, said "never count us out. Whenever there are times of crisis or trauma there's also times of opportunity to be a blessing to someone else."

PPE was also distributed. The event took place at the YH Thomas Community Center on Saturday afternoon.