The Rotary Club of Ashburn’s signature charitable event has doubled in size this year, meaning 1,200 elementary schoolers in need will receive backpacks full of school supplies.
Thursday morning, Rotarians, students, school staff, and School Board members gathered to stuff supplies donated by customers at 17 Giant stores across the region. FVCbank made a “substantial” donation to buy yet more supplies, according to Ashburn Rotary president Kenneth Courter. And Rotarians donated 200 hours of work to collect 10,000 pounds of supplies.
Then, JK Moving Services transported the 10,000 pounds of supplies to the school administration building in Ashburn. Road Runner Wrecker Service in Sterling brought 1,200 backpacks, all donated by CostCo. And the community came together to pack them all in one busy hour.
“I don’t want to call it private-public partnership, because everyone’s bored of that, but it’s just good people doing good things,” Courter said.
Two hundred of the backpacks will go to Fairfax, since some of the contributing Giant stores are across the county line. The other 1,000 will go to 60 Loudoun elementary schools to help needy children.
“You remember going off to the store, and choosing the erasers that smell the best, and the colorful pencils, and the whole list,” said Loudoun schools Chief of Staff Michael Richards. “And you remember that because it’s so important that we are prepared for school, that we feel energized by the first day off school, and not all kids get that.”
Three years ago, the Ashburn Rotary donated 40 backpacks, Courter said. Last year, they donated 600, and this year doubled that.
“What we really did here today was empower kids to feel like every other kid in the classroom, to feel like they’re the ones that don’t have to hide because they don’t have as much, or don’t haves to be ashamed because their backpack is the one that was handed down from their big borther,” said County Chairwoman Phyllis J. Randall (D-At Large), who stopped by to help pack bags.