Durham Rescue Mission equips thousands for school

Posted August 18, 2011 2:27 p.m. EDT
Updated August 19, 2011 12:30 p.m. EDT

Thousands lined up for school supplies Thursday at the Durham Rescue Mission.

— Students in need of books, paper pencils and back-to-school clothes got a helping hand Thursday from the Durham Rescue Mission.

The nonprofit hosted its 12th annual back-to-school party and cookout for local children who head back to school next week, handing out 4,000 backpacks filled with school supplies as well as shoes, clothing and groceries.

The mission's founder, Rev. Ernie Mills, said that he has seen a 31 percent increase in need over the past two years.

Mills said that he estimated approximately 4,000 people were served Thursday – the most the group has seen in the event's history.

In Wake County, the Inter-Faith Food Shuttle held its annual BackPack Buddies Food Drive aimed at collecting food, money and backpacks for needy children. It collected more than 22,000 pounds of food and $56,000 in cash to help feed children in central North Carolina. Last year's event raised more than $32,000.