“I went buying paper, and paper was $2 a pack,” the Anniston parent said. “I remember when it was 10 cents, so that’s a big difference.”
Executive Director Kerwin Allen said Friday marked the third year the Anniston Community Education Foundation has handed out bags of pencils, paper, folders, rulers and other supplies, calling the $17 bags an investment in the community.
First dibs on the supplies went to families who participated at the Let Them Shine Family Summit. The foundation hosted a number of speakers at the June event to cater to the “mind, body and soul” of local families, Allen said.
The foundation handed out 600 school supply vouchers that night, and participants had exclusive access to supplies distributed today at the Piggly Wiggly parking lot before noon. Afterward, the foundation opened up the giveaway to the community. By the end of the day, the foundation had distributed 761 bags and will continue to hand out the remaining 39 bags until they are gone.
Allen said parents can pick up bags at the foundation’s office at 818 Leighton Ave. or call the office at 256-741-1629 to see if supplies are still available.
In addition to handing out school supplies, the foundation also offered hot dogs and snacks for those who turned out for the event. Allen said partners including Anniston Housing Authority, Woodforest National Bank and Sarrell Dental Clinic helped provided school supplies and refreshments Friday.
Sarrell Dental, one of the sponsors of the giveaway and a frequent partner of the foundation, was also there handing out toothbrushes and toothpaste to families.
Lindsay Frey, who handles community outreach for Sarrell’s Anniston and Talladega offices, said she hands out such supplies at any event she attends in order to raise awareness of the options for affordable dentistry for children in the community. She said Sarrell specializes in providing care for children with Medicaid and the state’s low-cost ALL Kids insurance.
“We’re just trying to get the knowledge and toothbrushes and toothpaste in their hands,” she said. “Because for just a long time, the kids with Medicaid had nowhere to go that was affordable, so we’re trying to let everyone know that there is someone here that’ll take care of their kids with Medicaid.”
Staff writer Paige Rentz: 256-235-3564. On Twitter @PRentz_Star.