School supplies, show giveaways start for ‘back to school’

Ronald E. Carrington | 8/20/2020, 6 p.m.
As Richmond area students prepare for virtual learning this semester, they still will need school supplies and other items as …

As Richmond area students prepare for virtual learning this semester, they still will need school supplies and other items as online classes begin Tuesday, Sept. 8.

Thanks to donations by community members and corporations, several annual giveaways are taking place, beginning next week.

Rita Hayes Willis is continuing her commitment to the “New Shoes For Back To School” ministry, which she established through Third Street Bethel A.M.E. Church to provide shoes for children in kindergarten through 12th grade. Eleven churches have joined in the effort this year.

Because of the coronavirus pandemic and the need for social distancing, shoes will be given out at pre-arranged schools in Richmond, Henrico and Chesterfield between Sept. 1 and Sept. 15, Ms. Willis said.

Shoe selections sites will be set up at the following schools:

In Richmond:

Huguenot and George Wythe high schools; Albert Hill, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and Henderson middle schools; and Barack Obama, Fairfield Court, Mary Munford, Oak Grove-Bellemeade, Elizabeth D. Redd and Woodville elementary schools.

In Henrico:

George Baker, Montrose and Ratcliffe elementary schools.

In Chesterfield:

Davis, Bellwood, Bensley, Crenshaw, Marguerite Christian, Curtis, Falling Creek, Hopkins Road, Jacobs Road, Providence and Reams Road elementary schools.

Details: Ms. Willis at (804) 221-7394 or go to New Shoes for Back to School Ministry on Facebook.

Communities in Schools –Richmond is partnering with Virginia Commonwealth University for the 3rd Annual Ultimate Backpack Supply Drive from 2 to 7 p.m. Wednesday, Aug. 26, at The Diamond, 3001 N. Boulevard.

The event will give out backpacks to students, as well as collect supplies for backpacks.

“The event has shifted this year and is very unique,” says Harold Fitrer, president and chief executive officer of the organization.

“With the help of a series of corporate sponsors, they will have personal protective equipment kits — three masks, hand sanitizer and tissues — for RPS’ 22,000 students so they can be safe in the COVID-19 environment.”

This year, the setup at The diamond will look different as volunteers will collect supplies in one area of the field and the backpacks in another.

“We are expecting Virginia First Lady Pamela Northam, Virginia’s Superintendent of Public Education James F. Lane and Richmond Mayor Levar M. Stoney to attend the event,” said Timmy Nguyen, VCU’s director of alumni affairs.

Details: Mr. Nguyen at nguyenth6@mymail.vcu.edu.