By: Angela Redding
Photos: Diana Castro/Premier Photo Int’l.
Los Angeles, CA (The Hollywood Times) 8/5/2019–““School was a really important part of my life just like every other kid, and it should be, and hopefully today helps to get them to that spot,” Clayton Kershaw (quote from: CBS2/KCAL9)
Getting ready to go back to school is a BIG deal, especially for elementary, middle and high school students.
What? You don’t believe me? Have you noticed the number of commercials “popping up” with GREAT Back-to-School offers? Or perhaps you’ve gone to a store that carries school supplies and noticed that the Back-to-School aisles were well occupied by parents and their kids talking about and deciding on what the child wants and needs for the upcoming school year.
Going back to school, well prepared, is a Big Deal.
According to the 2019 Huntington Backpack Index, elementary school supplies will run parents $110.78, middle school supplies $270.76 and high school supplies $304.51 per child. These totals do not include technology, extracurricular fees, or college-prep materials. Each total listed is purely for school supplies; backpacks, pencils, paper, notebooks etc. NOT included in this cost are clothes, shoes, haircuts, lunch boxes and any technical items needed.
But as you know, there are many in our society who can’t afford to spend large amounts or any amount of money on even the basic school supplies needed to send their children back to school.
All hope is not lost. A helping hand is extended.
To help combat the high cost of back to school supplies and ease anxious hearts, the Los Angeles Dream Center, Kershaw’s Challenge, and The Los Angeles Dodgers Foundation rode in like a knight in shining armor, Saturday, August 3rd with FREE backpacks and school supplies for school-aged children from Echo Park and the Los Angeles area. Among those to receive a backpack were a number of children from the Dodgers RBI program.
Parents and kids were lined up around the corner for the Dream Center’s 6th annual Back-to-School Bash long before the Ten o’clock start time despite the 87-degree heat bearing down on them. All were excited to be in line to receive the needed school supplies and to meet a player from the Los Angeles Dodgers.
Getting the Word Out
One day prior to the event kicking off, Kershaw posted on his organization’s Kershaw’s Challenge Facebook page: “Join us at The Dream Center for the #BacktoSchoolBash with two of our beneficiaries The Dream Center and Los Angeles Dodgers Foundation from 10-1pm. Backpacks are ready for their new owners and tons of fun is in store.”
At ten o’clock the “gates” were opened and the crowd poured onto the Dream Center campus to receive free school supplies as iHeartRadio bumped music in the background.
Dodgers Clayton Kershaw, Justin Turner and Chris Taylor did not disappoint the free event goers; each player, their wives and or family members were on hand to help pass out 2,500 backpacks to local kids to help them get ready to go back to school.
After receiving their brand new backpack, kids had an opportunity to get free haircuts, dental, medical and vision check-ups as well as free clothing. In addition to this, families were able to participate in a variety of activities such as a petting zoo, ferris wheel rides, video games in the mobile video game trailer, a waterslide and much more while attending the event.
The Los Angeles Dream Center, Kershaw’s Challenge, iHeartMedia Inc., @chp and the Los Angeles Dodgers Foundation performed a great service for the community and helped lift the burden off of the shoulders of many grateful parents.
Dream Center Mission
“WE GET TO SERVE”
The Dream Center is a faith-based charitable organization that finds and fills the needs of struggling people from all over the United States. Since 1995, thousands of individuals and families have found hope and healing through the programs that only the Dream Center offers. The Dream Center aims to not only meet the immediate needs of communities like providing food and clothing, but also focuses on the full successful transformation of people’s lives, all free of charge.
Our mission is to connect broken people to a community of support by offering free resources and services that address immediate and long-term needs in the areas of poverty, addiction, and abuse. The Dream Center serves as a resource center focused on finding solutions to homelessness, hunger, and the lack of education through residential and community outreach programs.
Poverty – 55,118 people are currently experiencing homelessness in Los Angeles County.
Abuse – 48,000 police calls are made regarding domestic violence in LA County every year.
Addiction – 60,629 LA County residents are admitted to drug abuse treatment programs every year.
Event: The Los Angeles Dream Center’s and Kershaw’s Challenge 6th Annual Back-to-School Bash
Hosts: Clayton Kershaw, Justin Turner, Pastors Matthew and Caroline Barnett
Signature Partner: The Los Angeles Dodgers Foundation
A Los Angeles Dream Center’s and Kershaw’s Challenge Event. Time: 10:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. Date: August 3, 2019. Location: The Los Angeles Dream Center, Los Angeles, CA