Durham back-to-school event draws thousands

Posted August 18, 2009 4:58 p.m. EDT
Updated August 19, 2009 8:26 a.m. EDT

— The Durham Rescue Mission distributed free backpacks full of school supplies to more than 2,800 children Tuesday, a spokesman said.

The back-to-school event was made possible by sponsors Glaxo Smith Kline, Verizon Wireless, BB&T, Crosspointe Church of Cary and Once in a Blue Moon Bakery.

Families played games, enjoyed a cookout and gathered supplies and clothes for the coming school year.

Mission CEO Ernie Mills said the crowd was the biggest ever. “Each year the number in attendance for back-to-school and our other community events continues to grow substantially."

He said more than 4,300 people attended. They consumed more than 3,200 plates of food and took home 700 bags of groceries. More than 400 volunteers made the day possible.

The Durham Rescue Mission is Durham’s oldest and largest shelter, providing long-term shelter and counseling and vocational training for men, women and children 365 days a year.