Local News

Durham Rescue Mission fills backpacks for needy kids

Posted August 16, 2012 3:09 p.m. EDT
Updated August 16, 2012 7:31 p.m. EDT

— 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.”