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The Walthourville Police Department hosted a backpack giveaway Saturday, July 30, for children heading back to school, and all ages were represented, with more than 1,000 bags given away.
The giveaway featured not only the police department but also the fire department, AT& T, Deeslickshussh ice cream and other treats, and Walthourville Baptist Church. A bounce house in the form of one of the characters from “Paw Patrol” was also there for the kids to play.
Mayor Larry Baker and Chief of Police Al Hagen took part in the event because they want the public to know how dedicated they are to giving back to the community.
“It means everything to me,” Baker said. “We’re all about giving back to our kids, and they’re excited about the new school year.”
Hagen was equally devoted to making sure the kids and their families have what they need in order to start the new year off right, and he wants to build a relationship of trust with the public.
“Any involvement in the community helps us to build a bond with the police and the community,” Hagen said. “This is one way we help build that bond, by making sure our kids at least have he equipment to get back to school.”
He added that the event provides a benefit for parents financially.
“Sponsors help us to get all the equipment necessary,” he said. “Between the sponsors, our city leaders and me and my staff, (we) have really put in a lot of work to make this happen.”
Baker said that no child who needed assistance would be turned away.
Walthourville Baptist also sponsored the event, and Pastor Doug Weisel and his congregation were on hand to give out supplies. He said that like the mayor and police department, he and his church are available for additional support for the community whenever they need it.
“We’re not just a building over here,” he said. “We’re actually people that want to help others be a part of this community.”