Back to School supplies giveaway today
Published 12:23 pm Saturday, August 6, 2022
The C&B Community Organization in DeRidder will be holding its 13th annual Back to School supplies giveaway today, Aug. 6, and the organization’s founding members said they anticipate some of the largest crowds to date.
Beginning at 5 p.m. inside the fairgrounds exhibition hall at 506 West Drive, volunteers will be offering free school supplies to all students from kindergarten through 12th grade, as well as free hot dogs, drinks and music to celebrate the start of the new school year.
Founding committee member Billy Spikes said each year the event typically assists between 300 to 400 students, but he believes this year may see even higher numbers.
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“We do think that, with the tough financial year that everyone has been experiencing this year, that this could be our largest group ever,” Spikes said.
The funds to purchase the schools supplies for the giveaway each year come directly from the sales of barbecue plate dinners the organization’s members cook and serve throughout the year, as well as donations from community members. Spikes said the organization’s committee members also contribute monetarily to ensure that no one with a true need leaves empty-handed.
“If we come up short in donations then we pull from our own pockets to make sure that everyone is taken care of,” Spikes said.
Committee member Carlos Archield, who founded the organization with Spikes, said the event was created in the spirit of encouraging the community to take care of each other.
“This all began when we saw there was a need here in DeRidder, and we wanted to meet that need. We are really proud of what it has become today and how many families we are able to help,” Archield said.
The event has grown by leaps and bounds since its inception, having first been held at a pavilion in downtown DeRidder. The overwhelming response and large crowds those next few years eventually pushed organizers to move the event to the local park, and now the event is held in the fairgrounds exhibition hall to allow the crowd an escape from humid summer temperatures.
The event will continue until all supplies have been given away Saturday, and organizers remind participants that all students must be present to receive their supplies.