That’s why H.O.P.E. is holding its Back to School Bash, which will provide school supplies for hundreds of children in need. Now in its seventh year, the event relies on donations from local businesses, organizations and community members to meet the need.
“In the past, we’ve served 200 and then we’ve had to turn away,” said Stella Robinette, founder of H.O.P.E. “So this year, our goal is to service 400 youth.”
A nonprofit organization, H.O.P.E. began 11 years ago with a mission to help youth achieve their goals for education, career and service. The organization is always accepting adult mentors and volunteers, as well as new youth members ages 11-19.
“A lot of people think that it’s just for low-income kids, even though that’s mainly who we service,” Robinette said, “but anyone is welcome to join us.”
Back to School Bash
The event will be held Saturday, Aug. 3, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. in the parking lot outside H.O.P.E.’s new office, located at 618 Watauga St.
The Sullivan County Sheriff’s Office will be on hand with fingerprint kits for children of any age, Robinette said. The Sullivan County Health Department, Tri-Summit Bank, Providence Medical Clinic, AT&T and a Drug Abuse Resistance Education (D.A.R.E.) officer will also attend.
The event will provide school supplies to children in kindergarten through eighth grades, Robinette said. Students will receive a free backpack filled with supplies based on their grade level, along with food prepared by Kingsport Community Church.
How to help
Robinette said several organizations and individuals have already supported the event. For example, the Sullivan County Sheriff’s Office donated 200 backpacks, and Millennium Auto Collision Repairs and Office Depot have donated both backpacks and school supplies.
Donations of backpacks, glue or glue sticks, pencils, pens, spiral or composition notebooks, folders, paper, markers, crayons and rulers will be accepted through Aug. 2 and can be dropped off at the H.O.P.E. office, Millennium Auto Collision Repairs, Powell Valley National Bank, Kingsport Fitness and Tanning or Town & Country Realty on Center Street.
Volunteers are needed to pack backpacks on Aug. 2 and hand them out on the following day. To volunteer, contact Robinette at (423) 276-6541 or [email protected]