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Back to School Blast is Aug. 4 in Marble Falls

Volunteers prepare the hundreds of backpacks and other school supplies before last year’s Back to School Blast at Marble Falls Middle School. The event provides free supplies, a pair of shoes, and important information to students in prekindergarten through 12th grade, no matter in what school district they attend classes. Staff photo by Jennifer Greenwell

MARBLE FALLS — All the smiles and laughter Shannon McCannon and Jennifer Hall see and hear during the annual Back to School Blast is enough to keep them working at it. They also see the school supplies program as something bigger.

“It’s God’s love in action,” Hall said.

McCannon agreed, pointing out that the entire community comes together to serve others, something Jesus said we all should do.

“You should see the relationships it creates,” McCannon said. “People who may have never crossed paths become friends. It’s a community thing.”

The annual Back to School Blast gives out 1,500 backpacks stuffed with school supplies to students in pre-K through high school from 9 a.m.-noon Saturday, Aug. 4, at Marble Falls Middle School, 1511 Pony Circle Drive.

Each child who shows up will get a wristband for a backpack (1,500 are available). The youths must be present and accompanied by an adult.

Organizers will call students through the line for their backpacks and other items according to their wristbands.

During the wait, kids can enjoy many fun activities, including bounce houses. There will also be a number of organizations and businesses with information pertinent to education, youth activities, issues, and resources.

Hall said several barbers and hairstylists will be on hand to give free haircuts.

“We know how much haircuts can cost, and if you have a couple of kids getting ready to go back to school, well, it adds up,” Hall said. “These free haircuts make a big difference.”

The event was started by about a dozen churches, but more organizations and individuals have embraced it over the years. It even expanded this year to the Kingsland-Llano area with an event July 28 at Packsaddle Elementary School.

That’s been a goal for organizers: Bring the event to other communities. They only need someone in an interested town to reach out to them. Back to School Blast organizers have created a system, which they’re always tweaking and improving, that can be replicated anywhere.

The Marble Falls event is open to any student, no matter where they live. They don’t have to be Marble Falls Independent School District students, though many of the school supplies are geared toward MFISD campuses.

Along with backpacks and school supplies, volunteers will also hand out shoes. One of the most remarkable and touching things to see, McCannon and Hall said, is the school superintendent or another school administrator on their knees fitting a child with a pair of shoes.

It goes back to creating relationships at all levels and showing God’s love in action, they reiterated.

Volunteers are needed the day of the event as well as the week leading up to it. Go to B2SB.info to register as a volunteer or for more information.

And you can find other community volunteer opportunities at 101HighlandLakes.com/VOLUNTEER.

daniel@thepicayune.com

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