Jul. 21—On Friday, the Gaven Norris Law Firm, in partnership with the Bethlehem Baptist Church, will host its second annual back to school supply giveaway.
The event will take place from 8-11 a.m. Friday in the parking lot at Bethlehem Baptist Church which is located at 1000 W. Clements in Odessa.
About 350 backpacks will be given out to the community with school supplies available for K-12 students.
There will be one backpack per child, the child must be present to receive a backpack and the event will be on a first-come, first-serve basis.
It will be a drive up event, to maintain safety.
"We're always looking at ways that we can give back to the community," attorney Gaven Norris said. "Last year, especially with COVID, and the financial strains on families, we started a back to school giveaway last year. I think we gave around 300 backpacks last year and 100 to a church for them to help distribute. We wanted to help continue that this year as well. It'll be an annual deal."
Norris said there will be backpacks for boys, girls and gender neutral backpacks.
"All they have to do is show up while supplies last," Norris said. "We'll give it to them. They'll be filled with school supplies. We have a general list from ECISD for what most students need for school supplies. We stuff those and we give those so that the kids get the backpacks and the school supplies."
Norris said that Bethlehem Baptist Church has been the law firm's community partners for a lot of events.
"They've started and are operating a food pantry that's part of the West Texas Food Bank," Norris said. "This year, we're doing it on the Friday with them so that when people show up, if they need food or stuff from the pantry, then they can turn around and get backpacks in the same parking lot for their kids."
Because the pandemic is still very much ongoing, Norris said that the event will play a crucial part in helping parents, especially those who have been hit by the effects of COVID-19, financially.
"We're in a pandemic," Norris said. "People are still trying to recover. This is our opportunity to give back. I believe in the saying that 'to whom much is given, much is required.' This is our way of giving back to the community. I grew up as a kid who benefited from a lot of charities and people in the communities so this is a way of giving back to a community that's given so much to me. This is a small thing of what we can do but it's something that we want to do in any way that we can for the kids. We know some families can't afford supplies and children shouldn't be affected by that. It's not the children's fault. We want to help them succeed. Education is super important. We want to help eliminate as many barriers as we can. School supplies or backpacks shouldn't be a barrier for kids going to school."
If you go
>> What: Back To School: School Supply Giveaway
>> When: 8-11 a.m. Friday
>> Where: 1000 W. Clements, Odessa
>> More information: gnorrislaw.com