WACO, Texas (Fox 44) — The Waco Police Department helped students jump back into school with it’s annual back to school bash.
The back to school bash not only means a free backpack and school supplies, but it’s also a chance to make sure kids are ready for the new year.
“You just feel better when you’ve got a new haircut, a new backpack, some awesome school supplies,” Waco Public Information Officer Cierra Shipley said. “It just gets you excited. And so to have that and to know that we’re helping them set up for success is just an awesome feeling.”
As for the community, this went beyond the materials they needed for school.
“I’ve seen smiles all day long and excitement and joy between the kids and our officers,” Shipley told Fox 44 News. “And that’s really been the most fun is seeing the kids interact with our officers and just kind of build that relationship.”
Last year, they gave away 800 backpacks. This year, they doubled that giving away nearly 1600 backpacks to the people that need it the most.
“It’s just that everyone is struggling out here,” event goer Christina McCutchen said. “We cant afford, the single parents can’t afford the backpacks, clothes and shoes. They have events out here that can provide all that.”
This year, the Waco Police Department also partnered with Ascension Providence and their medical mission at home to provide family medical care.
Medical services like child immunizations, mammograms, lung cancer screenings, and school physicals were available for free.
“I like the health area, and make sure my health, that I’m in good health,” McCutchen said.
Over 30 vendors came together to provide shoes and clothes for kids. They even had cold towels around their necks to beat the heat while they play games like ‘dunk a cop.’
“It builds a good rapport for the community and it gets kids excited because at the end of the day this is who we’re doing it for,” Waco Police Officer Flores said.