Neighborhood 'Back to School Bash' Offers Free Supplies

Columbia, SC (WLTX) -- Kids and families in one of Columbia's neighborhoods that have seen its share of troubles got a show and free school supplies.

The first time event was held for the community around the Colony Apartments, just off Beltline Blvd.

When it's time to go back to school, it's time for supplies. However, when it comes to those supplies, not every kid will have them.

A free 'back to school bash' in the neighborhood Saturday meant many kids will.

"(I'm) happy because they gave it to us for free," said Carl Sumter, 10.

Sabrina Roary, a parent who showed up with her four school-aged children came not just for the supplies, but for performances as well.

"It means a great deal," Roary said. "To see the youth from the community share their talents and their gifts back to the community, at this bash, it was just beautiful."

Michael Blackman, an 11-year-old who recited poetry, was one of those performers.

"It makes me feel good because I know I have the tools in life to do things," Blackman said.

Despite the rain falling outside Saturday afternoon, a raffle, the performances and face-painting took the show inside the Booker Washington Heights Cultural Arts Center, where the event was moved due to rain.

"We were able to give them nice book bags, nice clothes they probably wouldn't even have had," said Della Anderson, whose organization 'Hope for Our Neighborhood' arranged the event.

Anderson said saying at times through the years, her own struggles have shown her why the event is needed.

"No matter where you come from, no matter how much you have, or don't have, it's always good to teach your children to give back," Anderson said.

Though the rain forced the event indoors, Anderson said she plans to hold the event again – in the near future -- when the weather clears up.


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