LAFAYETTE, Ind. (WLFI) -- Around 200 kids in Greater Lafayette went home with a backpack full of school supplies after The Greater Lafayette Indiana Black Expo (GLIBE) hosted its 14th annual Backpack giveaway event.
Due to COVID-19, this is the first time the event has been done "drive-through" style. All the school materials were provided through a number of community sponsors including Purdue Federal Credit Union, Ivy Tech Community College, Arni's Pizza, Q106.7, Arconic, Star City Broadcasting, Councilman Perry Brown, Floyd Lodge #23 P.H.A, and Greater Lafayette Sewing Masks Volunteers.
Right now, local schools have pushed back the start dates for classes. Although it's unclear what the rest of the school year could look like, organizer Jos Holman said it's important to be prepared.
"For the best student success, the students need to have things before school starts not after school starts so no matter what the school systems locally do, no matter what the school date is, we want to be in front of that," said Holman.
This event is usually done outside with games, music, and vendors. Holman said he's disappointed they weren't able to do that this year but he's happy hundreds of kids went home with supplies anyway.
"There's real satisfaction in just seeing people's faces, seeing the kids when they get those backpacks and knowing that confidently, folks appreciate what we're doing, that's a reward enough for me," said Holman.
Part of this year's event included a pre-recorded video message from a number of community leaders including teachers, principals, law enforcement, etc. encouraging students. The videos were displayed on a large TV screen with speakers.
Holman said they wanted kids to feel encouraged by those they look up to as they head back to school in the fall.