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Back-to-School Blast Expands; Volunteers Needed for Marble Falls and Kingsland Events

The annual Back-to-School Blast has two locations in 2018: one in Kingsland on July 28 and the other in Marble Falls on Aug. 4.

MARBLE FALLS — We know it’s the middle of July and the last thing you want to hear (well, at least, the kids) is it’s time to think about going back to school.

We’re not talking about the actual first day but the Back-to-School Blast events that help get students in prekindergarten though 12th grade ready for class.

The Marble Falls Back-to-School Blast is 9 a.m.-noon Saturday, Aug. 4, at Marble Falls Middle School, 1511 Pony Circle.

This year, B2SB organizers have added a second event for Llano Independent School District students. It’s 9 a.m.-noon Saturday, July 28, at Packsaddle Elementary School, 150 Pioneer Lane in Kingsland.

“The vision behind this was to reach more people in different towns,” said B2SB organizer Shannon McCannon of Lake Shores Church. “We wanted to model this (Marble Falls) one and let other communities replicate it, that way it would spread wider to benefit education across the Highland Lakes.”

Jennifer Hall, also a member of Lake Shores Church and a B2SB organizer, said that, over the past couple of years, they heard from people in Llano and Kingsland about how much a similar event was needed in their communities. The Marble Falls event draws families from Llano, Johnson City, Burnet, and other nearby towns.

The Back-to-School Blast is a community event in which 14 area churches come together to make sure every child starts out the new school year with free supplies, new shoes, a haircut, and health screenings — all while having a lot of fun.

With a new site, the one thing organizers need more than anything is volunteers.

“We need them the week before to stuff backpacks. We need them the day of to register people, hand out backpacks …” Hall said. “All they need to do is go online and volunteer. That’s it. It’s an amazing experience.”

Go to B2SB.info to sign up to volunteer.

Be forewarned: If you volunteer one year, the excitement and joy of helping a couple thousand kids might make you come back every year. It’s one of those great volunteering opportunities where you see the impact almost immediately as kids pick out their own backpack or try on a new pair of shoes.

While the goal is to get kids ready for school, Hall and McCannon noticed something else that was happening: a connection among people of different backgrounds and statuses.

At the event, volunteers help kids try on shoes. One person thought it would be better to simply provide each student with a voucher that they could take to a store. After all, the end goal was a new pair of shoes, wasn’t it?

“We had to explain that here’s the school superintendent down on his knees fitting a child with shoes,” Hall said. “It was a chance for the superintendent to serve kids in a whole different way. And it was so great for the kids to see the superintendent doing that.”

“Yes, it’s about providing school supplies, but, the thing is, we’re seeing a whole new level of community connections: businesses connecting, people connecting, kids connecting in ways that just weren’t usually happening,” McCannon said. “It was amazing. It’s a God thing.”

All this happens because the community comes together for the purpose of helping kids.

“It’s an action form of what God’s doing, a visible show of his love,” McCannon added. “And, hopefully, the kids see that the community loves them.”

With a second day and location for B2SB, more volunteers are needed both during the events and the week leading up to them. Go to the B2SB.info for more information.

If you’re looking for other opportunities to volunteer in the community, check out the Highland Lakes Volunteer Guide for a list of area organizations in need of helping hands.

daniel@thepicayune.com

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