by KATE SHUNNEY
Hancock Helping Hands’ annual back-to-school supply event took on a different shape this year due to COVID restrictions, but drew volunteers and more than 120 families to Widmeyer Park on Saturday, August 8.
Organized and staffed by volunteers from Orchard Ridge First Church of God and Hancock Presbyterian Church, the event distributed school supplies, baby supplies, household items and more.
The event, normally a gathering in the main area of Widmeyer Park, was held as a drive-through distribution on the park road. Volunteers talked to individuals in each vehicle to find out the age and grade of each child that needed supplies, then guided them through pickup. In addition to school backpacks and baby items and personal care supplies, volunteers gave out a bagged lunch, socks and bottled water.
“This was the first year we held it “drive through style” (due to COVID-19) and it worked out so well that we may keep this format going forward,” said organizer Kristie Stotler. “We do have supplies leftover that we will most likely have a second offering later this month at Orchard Ridge Church for those who could not attend our event this past Saturday.”
Stotler said the churches and volunteers served 122 families from the tri-state area. That included 166 adults and 197 children, for a total of 363 individuals who received donated goods.
“Even with all the challenges that we faced this year with securing supplies such as toilet paper and hand sanitizer, we were able to provide these essential items (and more) to be a blessing to our community,” Stotler said.