An 'opportunity to connect'

Aug. 02, 2014 @ 06:13 PM

OXFORD — Two hours before volunteers handed out free backpacks filled with school supplies, parents and children were already lining up at the Masonic Home for Children in Oxford.

More than 300 kids went home with brand-new book bags, pencils, notebooks, pens, and crayons Saturday morning because of the back-to-school rally sponsored by the Remnant Community Development Corp, a nonprofit that motivates youth to stay in school.

Angela Allen and her husband, Jeffrey, co-founded the group in 2009.

Jeffrey Allen said the mission of Remnant is to empower youth to be productive and successful citizens.

This year, the organization also received a $2,000 grant this year from the Granville County Community Foundation.

Jeffrey Allen said this was their biggest year yet.

“We had 15 kids come to our first one,” he said.

Mark Baldwin and his daughters, Dinah and Sarah, came from Vance County on Saturday to pick up some free items in advance of the new school year.

“It’s the first time I’ve been to this,” Mark Baldwin said. “I saw it the other day; one of my wife’s friends posted something about it on Facebook.”

He said the event is also a place to interact and maintain relationships with other members of the community.

“This is a nice opportunity to connect with the community,” he said.

Sandra Royster, with her children Shakya and Tajayden, live in Granville County, but Saturday was their first time at the giveaway.

“This is a great cause,” she said. “It helps so much.”

Even when supplies were running low, the Allens made sure that every child left with something, she said.

By noon, Remnant had given away roughly 300 book bags, and volunteers were passing out the last of supplies.

Royster said she was impressed with how smoothly the event was conducted.

“It all seemed really organized, and things just flowed according to plan,” she said.

 

Contact the writer at smansur@hendersondispatch.com