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Free backpacks, food: Durham nonprofit hosts back-to-school party

Posted August 24

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— Dozens of children and their parents lined up early Wednesday to receive backpacks, clothes and food at the Durham Rescue Mission's annual back-to-school party.

The nonprofit was planning to give away 5,000 backpacks filled with school supplies and hand out about 13,000 articles of clothing to those in need.

As many as 500 volunteers began prepping the backpacks and supplies at about 5 a.m., and by 6 a.m., other volunteers were cooking 10,000 hot dogs for the event.

Durham Mayor Bill Bell and others were expected to be on hand to officially kick off the back-to-school fun at 9 a.m.

"This community event is a necessity in this economy. Many families are just one paycheck away from being homeless. Our back-to-school pep rally is a blessing to many families in the Triangle who are struggling.” Ernie Mills, founder and CEO of the Durham Rescue Mission, said in a statement.

“Our goal, as always, is to provide children with the tools they need to get excited about going back to school."

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