CLUTE — Walking through the Brazoria County Dream Center’s facility during its annual Back 2 School Bash, the number of volunteers, grocery carts stuffed with food and stacks of new shoes reaching the ceiling, all helping meet a demand, left families and children in awe.
Some 800 backpacks were given out Friday night and Saturday morning to children and teenagers in need of assistance before the start of the school year at the Dream Center’s annual Back 2 School Bash.
The backpacks contained earbuds, tissue paper, folders, pens and paper. Students received food, new shoes and gym bags full of hygiene supplies.
Supplies for the bash were donated by area churches, businesses and residents.
The food, clothing and supplies are important items for parents, said Terri Willis, executive director of the Brazoria County Dream Center.
“The food that they are getting is like cereal, peanut butter and jelly, dinners, fresh fruits and vegetables,” Willis said. “It is just a variety of things that helps that first week be less chaotic for them.”
She wants to make sure parents don’t have to worry about their children’s well-being, Willis said.
“Those stress points, that is what I want to take away for these parents,” she said.
Grabbing his food, Steven Frank can attest how necessary the bash is for parents who are trying to make ends meet.
“It helps the kids out,” he said. “It helps the parents out. Prices are increasing but wages necessarily aren’t, so it puts more of a strain to get supplies at times. It helps the families out and it brings a greater sense of unity within the community. I think that is the biggest reason why it continues each year.”
She has been involved at the center’s back-to-school event since the beginning, volunteer Tina Anderson said.
“Honestly, it just keeps me humbled, it keeps me grounded,” she said. “It reminds me that we take a lot of things for granted. It reminds us that we shouldn’t. This is what we are here for. It is just blessing others, passing it forward.”
Each year she participates, she is inspired by people’s stories and the generosity of the community, Anderson said.
“There is still kindness in the world,” she said. “Even if you don’t think you can help, there is always a way to help others.”
The parents get to see a smile on their children’s face and that is what makes the entire process so rewarding, Willis said.
“I get excited because we can help every child,” she said. “That is the main thing.”