Loading up on learning

So for the past two days, the Chicks have been giving away backpacks, notebooks, pencils, glue sticks….all the good stuff that makes up our annual School Supply Giveaway. The Community Resource Center serves 600 extreme at-risk children every year, not only with school supplies but also personal hygiene products and clothing that helps them return to school ready for success.

First Tennessee volunteers helped the Chicks

First off, we want to thank our sponsors – First Tennessee, the Dan and Margaret Maddox Charitable Fund, Publix Supermarkets Charities and the Predators Foundation – for believing in the future of our children and supporting the giveaway. It’s our happiest time of the year. Both Betsy and I have children and we can’t imagine them returning to school without the supplies they need. Not to mention, which I will, the embarrassment factor children suffer when all the other students around them pull out their shiny new notebooks and pencils while they have none.

The Family Foundation serves at-risk teen boys and Margienell Kirk is excited about free binders for their classroom work.

Why is it a daze for us? We had more than 60 nonprofit partners sign up for the School Supply Giveaway (senior centers usually skip this one!). It happens over two days from 9:30 a.m.-2 p.m. but more than half of our agencies arrive at 9:30 a.m. on the dot and swarm the warehouse. Well, swarm may be too strong a word, but it is chaos for about an hour. We become virtuosos with box cutters, opening cartons of socks, gym shorts and backpacks as each agency roams around the warehouse picking up their items.

This year, volunteers from First Tennessee came out to help with the giveaway and sort other donations that have to be inventoried before the Chicks can give them away. We so appreciated the help and so forgot to tell them to wear shorts and t-shirts because it is HOT in the warehouse this time of year. We gave them water in attempt to keep them hydrated.

Our goal, as always, is to start the giveaway with a full warehouse and end it with an empty one. That means everything we distributed is in the hands of people – in this case children – who need them the most. Mission accomplished.

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