More than 1,600 children received free backpacks filled with school supplies Saturday to help prepare them for the upcoming school year.
Children received the backpacks, filled with a variety of school supplies from pencils and crayons to calculators and protractors, at the Kits 4 Kids program, sponsored by the Columbus Baptist Association, at the Frank D. Chester Recreation Center at 1441 Benning Drive in Columbus.
This year, planners had prepared for as many as 2,000 children to receive bags. Last year, 600 book bags were given away. The supplies in each backpack were geared for elementary, middle school, or high school aged students.
Organizers said they have around 400 backpacks remaining and if someone is in need of one they contact Mission Columbus Central at (706) 507-4672.
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About 160 volunteers staffed the event, which also included vision screenings, fingerprinting for IDs, and a brief gospel presentation by Ken Grubb, a member of Edgewood Baptist Church and a missionary with BCM International.
Organizers said the estimated 2,100 people attended the event, with some arriving as early as 7:30am.