On September 10, 400 Rialto students received a free backpack filled with essential distance learning items from a school supply giveaway coordinated by champions in the community: Never Stop Grinding Impact, Smile America Abdi Foundation, and Music Changing Lives leveraged their networks to host a successful event for students in need, which was open to the public and held near Morgan Elementary School.
“Originally, we anticipated giving away 200 backpacks, but with the support of our donors, we were able to extend that amount to 400…and we gave away every single backpack we had. There was one family who walked up to the drive-through giveaway because they didn’t have a car. That family was so appreciative of their backpacks and school supplies, it was a heartwarming moment,” said Darious Harris, Never Stop Grinding Impact founder and CEO.
The backpacks were filled with many essential items, also items needed to be successful in distance learning.
“We wanted to fill the backpack with supplies that would assist students with distance learning. We provided students with earphones to help them better focus on their teachers’ lectures and we provided clipboards, which will come in handy for students who are living without a table or a desk,” continued Harris.
Other items in backpacks included pencils, erasers, crayons, markers, paper, glue sticks, rulers, scissors, a pencil sharpener, a spiral notebook, a pocket folder and more.
Rialto Mayor Deborah Robertson and Rialto Police Captain Anthony Vega attended the school supply giveaway to show support, in which Harris shares that their attendance strengthens the investment in Rialto’s youth.
“As an undefeated professional fighter, born and raised in Rialto I want to motivate other athletes to give back by investing in our youth. If you invest in the youth, then you strengthen the future for everyone in the community,” concluded Harris.
The supply giveaway, an event in conjunction with Smile America ABDI Foundation, an organization carried on after the passing of its founder Abdi Mohammed, has been making strides in the Rialto community for many years by coordinating a yearly school supply giveaway; among numerous food drives and support for the homeless.
“Supporting the community and its needs was a passion of my brother Abdi’s and I will continue to honor his greatness. I am happy that we were able to collaborate on an event benefitting the youth of Rialto…in the future we want to get more people involved and continue providing to those in need,” said Sarah Mohammed, Smile America ABDI Foundation executive director.
At the event, it was evident that there is a need for school supplies in the city, as the line of vehicles was almost one mile long.
“I’m so proud of the school supply giveaway’s success, it shows that if we work together, we can accomplish anything in this community. There is such a need in this city and it is devastating. Thank you to all of the volunteers, donors and organizations who helped make this a successful event for the city of Rialto,” said Josiah Bruny, Music Changing Lives founder and CEO. For more information, visit https://www.facebook.com/NSGImpact/.