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Where those in need can get backpacks, school supplies for free
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Backpack, school supplies events

The Cellular Connection ‘School Rocks Backpack Giveaway’

When: Noon to 3 p.m. Saturday

Where: The Cellular Connection, 1943 Jesse Jewell Parkway

What’s being given out: 250 backpacks filled with school supplies


Air Line Baptist Church event

When: 5-7 p.m. Sunday

Where: Air Line Baptist Church fellowship hall, 3368 White Sulphur Road, Gainesville

What’s being given out: Book bags pre-packed with school supplies, refreshments


‘Hood Nation’ back to school community cookout

When: Noon to 5 p.m. Aug. 6

Where: Melrose apartments, 854 Davis St., Gainesville

What’s being given out: Food, school supplies; some backpacks will be raffled off


‘Bat to School’ event

When: 2-4 p.m. Aug. 6

Where: Lakeshore Mall, 150 Pearl Nix Parkway

What’s being given out: 100 backpacks distributed by lottery; they will be filled with school supplies; free haircuts

School supplies and backpacks will be a focus for families in the next two weeks as a new school year is about to start.

Classes will start Aug. 3 for Gainesville City Schools students and Aug. 5 for Hall County Schools students.

The average person spends $97.74 on school supplies for students in K-12, according to the National Retail Federation.

Most school websites for Gainesville and Hall County schools have supply lists posted.

Two backpack events are planned for this weekend, and two more are planned Aug. 6.

The local The Cellular Connection store, an authorized Verizon retailer, will offer 250 backpacks at its store, 1943 Jesse Jewell Parkway, from noon to 3 p.m. Saturday.

It is part of the company’s annual “School Rocks Backpack Giveaway,” which it has held since 2013.

The backpacks will be filled with pencils, paper, a pencil box, folders, glue and other supplies.

Any leftover backpacks will be given to local schools.

Then, on Sunday, Air Line Baptist Church will provide school supplies for students for the upcoming school year.

Supplies will include a book bag, paper, pens, pencils, crayons and other items.

Children must be present with parents or guardians to receive a pre-packed book bag.

The church will hold the event at 5 p.m., and it will last until 7 p.m. or as long as the supplies last.

It will be in the church fellowship hall, and refreshments will be served. Air Line Baptist is at 3368 White Sulphur Road in Gainesville.

Two events are planned for Aug. 6, one at Lakeshore Mall and one at Melrose apartments, sponsored by the “Hood Nation,” a local Gainesville group that is about a year old.

The “Hood Nation,” organized by Chiqunna Greene, will host a “back to school” community cookout at 854 Davis Street from noon to 5 p.m. Aug. 6.

Greene said food and school supplies will be available, and some backpacks will be raffled off.

The Lakeshore Mall will host “Bat to School,” its Aug. 6 kids event, from 2-4 p.m.

Batman and the Batmobile will attend for photos, Joanne Luchkowec, spokesperson for the mall, said by email.

About 100 backpacks will be distributed by lottery. Amerigroup Community Care donated the backpacks. Donations have been received to buy school supplies to put in the backpacks.

Lowe’s also will host a superhero craft session, and the Georgia Institute of Cosmetology will provide free haircuts to children.

Gainesville First United Methodist Church also helps with school supplies. It provides the full list of school supplies for 100 students at Riverbend Elementary School.

Meredith Pierce, who oversees the project for the church, said the supplies will be at the school for its open house and are designated for specific students.

Regional events