Four local schools participated in the YMCA Bright Beginnings program on Saturday to help kids with back-to-school clothes, supplies, a pair of shoes and a haircut.
Joyce Hamby, membership director at the Yadkin YMCA, said the Bright Beginnings program helps kids feel confident by making their first day of school special.
Volunteers gathered to take 97 children from several elementary schools in Yadkin County shopping at Walmart in Elkin to purchase a new outfit and new shoes. They received school supplies and a book bag donated by volunteers and the community.
There were 113 volunteers who helped shop with students during the Bright Beginnings event.
Participating schools were West Yadkin Elementary, Jonesville Elementary, Yadkin Success Academy and Courtney Elementary School.
Bright Beginnings is in its third year and continues to bring good community support, said Hamby.
“We want to get the children off to a great start for the school year, and it is a way to give them encouragement,” she said. “It gives students a feeling of confidence and encouragement as they start out the new school year knowing that so many people care about them and want them to have that bright beginning of their new school year.”
Hamby said there a great sense of excitement during the day from both students and volunteers.
“It was an amazing day for the volunteers and the kids,” she said. “I heard so many comments from the volunteers just telling me how good it made them feel to help these kids.”
Many of the students came well-prepared, already knowing what items they needed and wanted for the upcoming school year.
“I’m so happy. This is the best day ever,” Beatriz Barajas said.
Her comment is exactly the reason Hamby said the volunteers and the YMCA seeks to provide this program.
“That summed it up for all of us,” she said. “It just made everything we were doing worthwhile.”
The students and volunteers also enjoyed a hot dog lunch provided by the one of their sponsors, the United Auto Workers 3520 from Statesville. Hamby also said that Walmart went above and beyond by offering the group a space inside the garden center for them to enjoy their lunch since it was raining outside.
Bright Beginnings, Hamby said, is a program the YMCA hopes to offer for years to come.
“Our goal is to continue to grow the program,” she said. “Each year we want to add another school and more kids and continue expanding until we reach all of the elementary schools in the county.
Tanya Chilton may be reached at 336-835-1513 or on Twitter @TanyaTDC.
Kitsey E. Burns may be reached at 336-679-2341 or on Twitter @RippleReporterK.