More than 5,000 youth attended the eighth annual Back to School Bash in Zemurray Park Saturday.
Organizer Carolyn Jackson said parents began lining up at noon for the free book bags and school supplies. More than 1,000 youth received the book bags and supplies.
“We ran out,” Jackson said, adding that she will begin now accepting donations for next year’s event.
Donations from the community helped Lord Save the Children ministry, led by Jackson, purchase new book bags, notebooks, pencils and other supplies to help youth in kindergarten through 12th grade, she said.
“It was a pleasant family atmosphere,” said Beverly Maryland with the nonprofit organization Adopt a Family in Need. “There were people standing in line at 1 o’clock for book bags. That’s what captured my eyes the most.”
In addition to the free giveaways, the youth enjoyed free food, games and the swimming pool, Jackson said.
Representatives from the Attorney General’s Office, the Hammond Mayor’s Office, the Tangipahoa Parish Sheriff’s Office, the Department of Justice’s Don’t Drink and Drive Campaign, the U.S. Army National Guard, the Tangipahoa Parish School Board and area teachers came out to the event to help inspire the youth.
“Volunteers came from everywhere,” Jackson said. “They did good.”
To donate book bags or supplies for next year’s event, contact Maryland at (985) 269-1450 or (985) 510-5460 or Jackson at (985) 634-3428.