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Durham Rescue Mission fills backpacks for needy kids

Posted August 16, 2012

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— Thousands of underprivileged children and their parents loaded up on free school supplies Thursday during the 13th annual back-to-school party hosted by the Durham Rescue Mission.

GlaxoSmithKline donated nearly 3,000 backpacks stuffed with school supplies to the event designed to help at-risk students in the Durham area.

Organizers said children and their parents started lining up in front of the Durham Rescue Mission Chapel before 6 a.m. for the party, which started at 9:30 a.m. A total of 4,451 people attended.

A total of 10,000 hot dogs were cooked for lunch, and the party also included a used clothing and grocery giveaway.

Ernie Mills, co-founder of the Durham Rescue Mission, said keeping children in school is key to preventing drug addiction, crime and other problems that could lead to homelessness later in life.

“We use this is as homeless prevention,” he said. “If they don’t get a proper education, we’ve got to work with them later on as homeless.”


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  • kenneth1950 Aug 17, 2012

    I checked early this morning and see that the top 2 (husband and wife) people at this not for profit make close to $200,000.00 per year plus other perks !! That is over the top. Not for profit boards need to start cutting back. I know of many people that could and would do the job for far less I for one would give back 50% of that salary to the agency !! This is not a major corporation with well over 500,000 employees.

  • Gnathostomata Aug 17, 2012

    Some of these comments need to be addressed. Ultra poor families fall below the poverty line and receive assistance. Many families are just above the "line" because the parents work, pay rent, pay bills and have little left over to purchase school supplies. These are the families that Union Mission help. This is one of the best places to go for help, and the people there are so understanding and helpful. They require evidence of need, but children are not punished for the lack of parental ability to provide adequately for them. If you want to give to a group that truely help people in need, this is the place. Durham Union Mission is making a positive difference and deserve praise, not gong bells.

  • PeaceRH Aug 17, 2012

    jesmyopinion and doggypoos -

    You both are making a lot of large assumptions. This article did not state that these families or children receive any kind of assistance from the government. "Underprivileged" does not automatically mean that they are receiving any kind of assistance. These children did not choose the families they were born into and they did not choose their families' income. Quite frankly you both sound ignorant and judgmental.

  • Just the facts mam Aug 16, 2012

    If a person already depends on the government for assistance, then they probably should not be having children. If they cannot afford to pay their own way through life, then why would they be having children, which will only increase their need for more governmental asistance?

  • doggypoos Aug 16, 2012

    These kids do not seem so needy to me. DHHS already gives them a free place to live, free healthcare and dental, free food, free daycare and school plus other benefits and at Christmas time free gifts. They already get a lot from tax payer dollars so how are they needy? Every year its the same families in these long lines, when are they going to provide back to their community. Some folks are needy but MOST seek a lifetime of handouts.

  • dryjr Aug 16, 2012

    Best mission around ,please give !

  • 2gurlz2boyzMom Aug 16, 2012

    fishon... u must never have been underprivileged!! in this economy, parents being laid off, (in my case - losing a spouse) it's hard to make sure all bills are paid, food in cabinets, and clothes on backs. then school time comes around, and it's another expense.
    thankfully we have places like Kmart that still do lay-away, because if that wasn't available, i would be going to some place like the Rescue Mission.

  • fishon Aug 16, 2012

    Thousands of underprivileged children and their parents loaded up on free school supplies.

    We donate to Durham Rescue Mission but that one sentence speaks volumes.

    Once these "supplies" are used up where will they get what they need next time. More donations and handouts?