Volunteers hand out backpacks

Each child was able to pick a backpack of their choosing while volunteers filled the bags with all the school supplies that were necessary to begin the school year.

With the school year fast approaching, a few organizations in the Kingsville area and out of state donors were able to give out dozens of backpacks to children who needed supplies for the upcoming 2019-20 school year.

The LOLA organization took over Thompson Park on Saturday in Kingsville and handed out multiple backpacks filled with notebooks, pencils, paper, markers, crayons and all other school supplies that matched the lists for the districts in the area. Attendees were also treated to food and beverages throughout the event, while children played games and played on the park’s grounds.

“We had a lot of sponsors here that made this possible and we are so grateful to have made this happen,” LOLA founder Tanjela Davenport said. “Family First is an organization in Georgia and traveled from Georgia with us to be here and be a part of this. We do appreciate everybody and thank everybody else who helped.”

Freddie Mathis, the organizer of the event, said this was the third year the organizations were able to do the event.

“The first two years, it has been smaller, but this year with (LOLA) and my vision, it became real big and then this happened,” Mathis said. “We are thankful that the community of Kingsville allows us to come out here and do this.”

Mathis said her mother, Lola Garner, was the namesake of the LOLA organization and was a special education teacher in Kingsville for years in the Kingsville Independent School District.

Mathis said her family’s history in the city is what inspired them to continue to give back to the community in which they grew up, despite some of their family members no longer living in Kingsville.

“None of my mom’s kids live in Kingsville anymore,” Mathis said. “Some of us live in Houston, my brother lives in Victoria, I just moved to Louisiana, but we wanted to make the trip. It’s just an honor to come back and be able to give back to an education that my mother strived so hard for us to get. And that’s why we do this in her honor.”

Mathis and Davenport agreed the event was a bit overwhelming to put together on a bigger scale, but after seeing the turnout, they were excited to continue to do the event every year they can.

“It is a community event, and we want everyone to come together every year after this,” Davenport said. “No donation is too small, if people want to help or volunteer, it doesn’t matter. We are looking forward to doing it for years to come.” 

“We know there are other places that are doing back-to-school events and we’d love to have everyone come together and just have one big (event),” Mathis said. “Hopefully we can do that soon. That would be phenomenal.”

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