Saturday, May 30, 2009
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CONYERS - Organizations in Rockdale County are teaming up this weekend to make sure area students have the supplies they need to start school next month.Dozens of organizations have donated items, money and time to set up two back-to-school events that are open to the public Saturday and Sunday in Conyers.Beginning at 8 a.m. Saturday, residents are asked to line up at 1400 Parker Road in Conyers to collect needed school supplies in the sixth annual Praise in the Park."We are trying to offer a little help and hope to residents during these difficult days," said Mike Hutcheson, a coordinator for the event. "It will be a fun, festive event."At least 500 supply kits will be given out on a first come, first served basis.He said supplies should last until about noon, but depending on the demand and how many other supplies are donated this week, they may run out sooner than that.In addition to giving out school supplies, the event will feature a concession stand and family entertainment."It's a wonderful opportunity to bring the community together to do something for the people of Rockdale County," Hutcheson said. "The blessing is the collaboration that happens."He said between 20 to 25 area agencies already have teamed up to make the event possible.Hutcheson also will collect more school supplies - the event goal will be met if about 250 more kits are collected - from 1 to 5 p.m. Thursday and Friday at the Parker Road complex.Summer giveaways will continue Sunday with the Community Back to School Carnival, sponsored by Caring Touch Ministries and A Special Boutique, an organization that provides clothing and professional services for working adults.From noon until 4 p.m. in the parking lot of the Bank of America located at 1540 Ga. Highway 138 S.E. in Conyers, the event will feature giveaways and family entertainment.From noon until 3 p.m., event organizers will give away more than 300 bags of school supplies. Throughout the event, they also will hold hourly giveaways of gift cards and gas cards.The event also will include blood pressure and other health screenings from three area doctors and safety talks by the Rockdale County Fire Department and Rockdale County Sheriff's Office.Free popcorn, snow cones and bottled water also will be available.Also at the event, organizers will hold a cake walk and a baked goods sale to raise money for A Special Boutique's educational expansion program - the organization hopes to launch a certified nursing assistant program.Both events are free and open to the public.In addition to the area school supply drives, Staples and DoSomething.org are holding the second annual Do Something 101 School Supply Drive.From now until Sept. 19, donors can drop off school supplies and donate $1 at their local Staples store. In Conyers, Staples in located at 1550 Dogwood Drive.The collected school supplies and donations at the Conyers store will be given to the Boys & Girls Clubs of Metro Atlanta.Michelle Floyd can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.