Residents give supplies, shoes, more to students

"Individuals can make a difference, but the impact that can be made in the lives of people when individuals unite ... is amazing and not easily forgotten," said the Rev. Andrea Smith, associate pastor at Williamson United Methodist Church.

As Smith and helpers organized items for "Back 2 School Bash '11," she discussed the "graciousness of the community." Organizations, churches, businesses and individuals are pooling resources to ensure students have supplies before school begins.

The event will be 9 a.m.-3 p.m. Saturday at the church, which is at Williamson and Brawley School roads. Free school supplies, haircuts and sneakers will be given to K-12 students in south Iredell County and Mooresville Graded Schools.

As students choose backpacks, pencils, notebooks and other supplies, they also can shop for gently used books.

Advance registration for haircuts ended last week, and registration for tennis shoes ends Monday. Stylists from local salons are providing haircuts; Samaritan's Feet is providing tennis shoes at cost. When students receive a pair of shoes, someone will wash their feet. "It's neat," Smith said.

With five bands, 10 bounce houses and free food, the event resembles a festival. Students will have the opportunity to win "big-ticket items," according to festival organizers. A schedule on the website lists times for giveaways.

Shuttles will run from Mooresville Christian Mission and from Troutman and Third Creek elementary schools. Parking will be available in the former Lowes Foods parking lot at Brawley Commons, Brawley Middle School and Peninsula Baptist Church.

Volunteers have been working throughout the summer, but Smith hopes at least 200 more offer to help. Donations, including money to offset costs, are needed. Smith said organizers have collected backpacks for elementary students, but older students require packs with deeper pockets, which the steering committee purchased.

Guidelines for online donations, advance registration and schedules are at Supplies can be delivered to the church office 9 a.m.-5 p.m. weekdays.

School Tools

WSOC-TV (channel 9) and the Iredell-Statesville Schools are joining forces for the School Tools campaign. The community can donate school supplies at all BB&T branches in Iredell County. Ashley Furniture in Mooresville is collecting items, which will be divided between Iredell-Statesville and Mooresville Graded Schools.

On Aug. 12, "Ole Betsy," the antique bus used in the movie "Leatherheads," will be parked on Broad Street in Statesville during the "Friday after Five" concert. Donations will be accepted 5-8 p.m.

Any company or organization may host a barrel for donations. Call Susie Wiberg at 704-832-2547.