back to school

‘It's a Blessing': Hundreds Turn Out for Back-to-School Drive in Dallas

Hundreds of people came out to get school supplies and food

NBCUniversal, Inc.

The line of cars stretched over a mile long Saturday for a back-to-school community relief drive in Dallas offering school supplies, food and personal-protective equipment kits.

Chris Howell, chairman of the Chris Howell Foundation, which hosted the drive at the Skyline Ranch, knows what it's like to be there.

“I grew up in West Dallas, and my mother was in many lines like this as we were growing up," Howell said. "I’m the last of 6 children. She was a single parent."

Volunteers also passed out food and milk to anyone who showed up.

“We will likely get 1,500 to 2,000 people maybe who respond for food,” Howell said.

An estimated 800 families also picked up school supplies that many otherwise couldn’t afford. Earbuds to help with online learning and backpacks were handed out by the hundreds to people who had pre-registered.

“It’s a blessing, especially during this time," said Carla Martinez. It’s a lot of help for a lot of us who don’t have a job right now,” says parent Carla Martinez.

Nicole Wiley came out Saturday for a friend whose hours were cut because of the coronavirus pandemic.

“She’s going to be happy. She doesn’t know yet. I’m just surprising her because she’s been having a tough time getting school supplies for her kids," Wiley said.

The Chris Howell Foundation will hold another back-to-school community drive on Aug. 22 at the Tarrant County College South Campus in Fort Worth.

Past COVID-19 community relief drives held on June 27 and July 11th served more than 5,000 families.

You can learn how to donate, volunteer, or get more information on upcoming drives at the Chris Howell Foundation website.

The drive was sponsored by the NBC5 Supporting Our Schools initiative to help families during the pandemic and students in need of school supplies for the upcoming year.

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