Local organizations sponsor back to school backpack giveaways

COVINGTON, Ky. - It's back to school season and Saturday, hundreds of familiesreceived help with those back to school expenses through two localevents.

The Price Hill "Back To School Fair" and "Backpacks andBreakfast" in Mainstrasse helped kids get a fresh start to theirschool year.

More than 900 backpacks loaded with school supplies were givenaway at Goebel Park Saturday morning for "Backpacks and Breakfast,"sponsored by Northern Kentucky Harvest.

Be Concern, Hosea House and the Brighton Center also helped withplanning the event.

One grandparent, Thelma Kelly, who's raising nine of hergrand kids on government assistance attended "Backpacks andBreakfast."

"It helps me a lot because I don't have a lot of money," saidKelly. "I only get $674 to live on and I'm supporting me and thesekids on it.

This is Kelly's second year attending "Backpacks and Breakfast."She arrived around 6:00 a.m.

Some parents got to Goebel Park as early as 4:30 a.m. because ofthe demand for the backpacks, which is partly due to theeconomic downturn.  

"The economy is a big factor here, there is a big demand for theservice that we're providing," said Paul Gottbrath, NorthernKentucky Harvest President.

Families also received breakfast from Frisch's and Trauth Diary.Covington's Recreation Commission also provided the kids with freeface painting, pony rides and other entertainment.

At the Price Hill "Back To School Fair," about 1200 backpackswere given away.

There were also 60 different agencies represented at the fairproviding a variety of family services.

The fair was organized by six local organizations includingHamilton County Family and Children First Initiative and SantaMaria Social Services.

"Being a single mom... it helps out with getting us schoolsupplies," said Donna Burt, who has three kids currently inschool. "The extra stuff. So even if I don't have a lot, I'llhave it throughout the year. If their folders rip or what have you,so we'll have extra."