Scholar turnout – and smiles – spotlight backpack giveaway | Information

There was nothing but smiles at the free backpack giveaway held Thursday morning at Leroy Jackson Park.

By 9 am, cars were lined up all the way day the street to the entrance of the park filled with parents and their children in what was a drive through giveaway courtesy of the Kern County Child Support Services in the 13th annual Ready-Set Back to School Health and Wellness Fair.

In recognition of August as the Child Support Awareness Month, the event focused on providing free backpacks and school supplies to children, in grades K-12, as they begin the new school year.

“We bring awareness to our community of our services,” said Elizabeth Chavez, director of Kern County Child Support Services.

In preparation of the annual event, team members raise funds for the backpacks and supplies.

Said Chavez, “Everything given here, my team members donated all these items themselves. It was there give back to the community. Our goal was to have child kick of the school year with new backpacks and school supplies.”

Community partners also donated resource information for the parents and their children including dental kits for the students.

Children were allowed to pick the color of their new backpack which were then filled with back-to-school goodies as the procession made its way to each of the support tents.

“We are very excited to receive the backpacks today,” said one parent, Crystal Gire. “This is such a great help.”

On hand to held hand out the supplies was Joe Brennan of Supervisor Phil Peters office who donated $500 towards the cause.

“As Supervisor Peters is very proud to support our County Child Support Services in this annual event and helping our kids prepare for the school year,” Brennan said.

Child Support Awareness Month is recognized in California and nationwide. Child support professionals help both moms and dads attain the financial stability they need for the children they care for, and their payments help each other cover essentials like rent and childcare.

For more information about Kern County Child Support Services, and the programs available, please call 866-901-3212.

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