More than 400 students from across Mid-Missouri visited Hallsville the afternoon of August 15.
Specifically, they and their families drove through the Bob Lemone Building at the Hallsville Fairgrounds, for the annual Hallsville Interfaith Council’s School Supply Giveaway.
The line of cars stretched all though the park and at times blocked the east-bound lane of Rt. 00 heading out of Hallsville.
At least 20 volunteers guided cars, bagged supplies, and handed them off to the families who never had to leave their vehicles.
Long-time volunteer Cheri Briedwell said the drive-thru version of the event was their way of still helping families, despite the Coronavirus.
While this year’s event, due to Coronavirus cautions, lacked the free haircuts from local stylists and free hot-dogs courtesy of the Hallsville Optimist Club, there was still plenty for everybody.
This was the event’s 18th year in action.
“There are three stops,” Briedwell said. “The first stop they get a free back pack and they get a lunch bag cooler and another bag with treats inside. The next stop they get their school supplies and the next stop they get a bag of hygiene products – body wash, conditioner and shampoo, and the last stop they get a bag of snacks and stuff from the Optimist Club.”
Briedlwell, said the event which started at 3 p.m., had served 55 families by 3:30 p.m., and cars had already been parking at the Lemone Building by 1 p.m.
The member churches of the Interfaith Council each take responsibility for one item or class of items for the giveaway and spend the year collecting them for the event, such as 500 boxes of crayons, said one volunteer.
Jenna, Crowder who has been volunteering at the Giveaway since her mother Angie helped found it 18 years ago, said the event had heart-felt meaning for her.
Taking a break from handing out window-tags to the vehicles rolling into the building, she said. “I’m so grateful we can help the community with this, because so many children rely on it to get their school supplies for the year.
“Well hello, you give that to me,” said Kevin, the pastor of Hallsville’s New Heights Church, as he collected survey forms and explained the drive-thru procedure to each vehicle. “I think this means a lot to the community, to the area,” he said gesturing to the three-quarters-of-a-mile long line stretching through the fairgrounds. “The last several years we’ve served in the hundreds every year…
For the complete article, see the August 26 edition of the Centralia Fireside Guard.