With just one week remaining before Polk County’s sixth annual Back to School Extravaganza, organizers say they still need help.
Spearheaded by Bolivar’s Open Hearts United Methodist Church, the event — set for 8:30-11:30 a.m. Saturday, Aug. 3, at Bolivar High School — relies on area churches, businesses, organizations and individuals to provide backpacks, school supplies, hygiene products, socks, undergarments, haircuts and more to Polk County K-12 students free of charge.
“It’s amazing how so many people from our county work together to help our students get a positive start back to school,” event chair Kathy Drake said via a news release. “We want our kids excited about going to school. It’s a huge effort and it takes lots of volunteers, lots of money and lots of supplies to make it happen. But it’s so worth it to support our kids, families and schools.”
Drake said various groups are collecting specific school items, but in general, pencils and subject notebooks are always needed.
“Everything is appreciated and of course money is gratefully accepted,” she said. “Thankfully, we can pool our purchasing power and get more for our dollars when it comes to certain supplies, especially hygiene products. So, if anyone is not sure what to purchase, or doesn’t have the time to shop, their monetary donations will be used wisely, and very much appreciated.”
In addition to the supplies the students receive at the event, free haircuts are provided by volunteer stylists and barbers. Drake said more than 120 haircuts were provided last year and those working stayed long after the other stations of the event shut down.
“It’s a huge need and these professionals work non-stop,” she added. “We really could use more stylists, barbers to help. If you, or if you know of anyone who has these skills, please call the church.”
To make donations, to volunteer or for more information, contact the church at 326-4885. The deadline to donate is Wednesday, July 31.