Love INC to host Back-to-School Fair

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Back-to-School Fair

9 a.m. to 3 p.m., Saturday

Alice Pleasant Park

— The Love INC event will provide materials to children in need of school supplies, such as backpacks, crayons, notebooks and other essentials, as well as free haircuts available for students. The day also will include games, food and will be followed by Praise in the Park, hosted by local churches. For more information on how to donate or get involved, call 826-4400.

Getting your children all the materials they need to begin the school year can sometimes be a struggle. However, this weekend will provide a relief for families who could use it.

Love INC of the Yampa Valley will host its inaugural Back-to-School Fair from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday in Alice Pleasant Park. Children and parents can come to downtown Craig to pick up some free school supplies donated by the community.

Patricia Jones, executive director of Love INC — which stands for Love in the Name of Christ — said this is the first time the organization has had the chance to do such an event following a project to get kids backpacks for school that begun several years ago along with a standard collection of school supplies.

“One of our Love INC affiliates in another state had published information about something they did reaching out this way, and we saw it as a great way to help kids and their parents,” she said.

Jones said a donation of $25 would almost completely outfit a child with everything they need for the school year.

“One of our volunteers got online and found a really good deal for backpacks, so that should cover it all,” she said. “Monetary donations are great too, because that way we can buy anything we’re missing.”

There is no income minimum for families who wish to receive donated school supplies, but they must have the child with them at the event. Love INC also will continue providing such services for those who can’t make it to the fair Saturday.

“Throughout the whole month of August, parents who miss the fair can call our office, so it’s not their last chance,” Jones said.

The event will serve as a gathering place for all the community with carnival games and food and beverages. The cosmetology department of Colorado Northwestern Community College, and other stylists around town, will give free haircuts to students, as well as adults with a small donation.

At 4 p.m., local churches involved in the effort will host Praise in the Park, a chance for those present to join together for some fellowship.

Anyone hoping to donate items, funds or just their time can contact Love INC before or after the event.

Among the local agencies involved in the fair is the Boys & Girls Club of Craig. Unit Director Kim Maneotis said the group has numerous materials donated on behalf of Operation Homefront that they will be giving to the event. The charitable venture provides assistance to families of those serving in the military.

“We were able to set aside some of the residuals, so we’re meeting two needs in the community,” she said. “This way, the first day of school will be a fantastic day for all kids.”

Families can find the following donated materials at the fair: backpacks, crayons, colored pencils, washable markers, pencils, loose-leaf notebook paper, three-ring binders, spiral notebooks, boxes of tissues, scissors, pencil sharpeners, rulers, glue, erasers, watercolor paints, pens, typing paper, sticky notes, two-pocket folders, Clorox wipes and small calculators.

Andy Bockelman can be reached at 970-875-1793 or abockelman@craigdailypress.com.

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