Students receive free backpacks and other items at Rescue Mission event
By Joselyn Villalobos For the Daily Press
Photos by De’Anthony Golston Jr.
Posted Jul 25, 2019 at 4:14 PM
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VICTORVILLE — There will be 1,800 fewer students who will not have to worry about finding a backpack for school this year.
With help from more than 30 sponsors, the Victor Valley Rescue Mission held its 10th annual Backpack Giveaway on Thursday, providing children pre-K through 12th with school supplies, books, shoes and other items in preparation for the upcoming school year.
The largest giveaway yet, this year’s event was the first to include grades 7th through 12th, said VVRM Director Bill Edwards.
Victorville resident Olivia Fresquez, 44, has volunteered for the event in previous years and said it is “amazing to see how many backpacks they are giving away compared to my first time volunteering.”
“We went from around 700 backpacks to 1,800,” Edwards said.
Among the lineup of sponsors and volunteers was a nonprofit group, Sole to Soul, who provided 300 pairs of new shoes and 1,500 pairs of new socks.
Free haircuts and manicures were provided for adults and children at the celebration. There was also a table filled with books for visitors to take home.
Moulding Hearts supplied food for the free lunch and Liberty Utilities donated plenty of water for the event. Victorville Police Department Deputies Michael Martinez and Jim Musgrave were on hand with their SUVs, showing kids the ins and outs of their vehicles.
“We want to make a connection with the community and show kids we are not bad. We are human just like everybody else,” Martinez said.
“That is the most important thing, sharing the gospel,” Edwards said.
Victorville resident Marissa Vasquez, 36, attended the giveaway with her 12-year-old son Alex. Preparing for the 7th grade, Alex said he was happy to receive a backpack in his favorite color, red.
“With him going back to school soon, this definitely helps,” his mother said.
Adelanto resident Joe Hernandez, 34, recently moved from Los Angeles to the High Desert and said it is “great to see people giving back to the community.” Hernandez visited the event with two of his five children, Cecilia, 2, and Joseph, 7, who enjoyed the free arts and crafts table.
The Victor Valley Rescue Mission serves the poor and provides homeless men with opportunities for spiritual and physical recovery from addiction, job training, and job placement, according to their website.