RICHMOND, Va. -- An annual event aimed at getting students and teachers off to a great start is going to look a lot different this year, but the mission is the same.
The nonprofit Northside Coalition For Kids is known for it's summer Back to School Rally.
In years past, vendors have set up to offer free services to families from dental screenings and haircuts to much needed school supplies and backpacks handed out to parents and students.
The coalition's founder, Shonda Harris-Muhammed, is educator of nearly 30 years.
"The need over the city is great," said Harris-Muhammed.
She says this weekend, due to COVID-19, the citywide Back to School Rally held at Carver Elementary will be a drive thru event, minus the vendors.
And this time, parents stopping by to pick up items don't have to bring their children.
The organization wants to help teachers, students and families, but also keep safety top of mind.
"We are 100 percent not just concerned about the health of our volunteers, but families, teachers and children that we serve every year," said Harris-Muhammed.
She says the goal is to distribute more than 2,000 backpacks at the 12th annual Back to School Rally. The event begins Saturday, August 1 at 9 a.m. with teachers only for the first hour.
After that, parents can drive through the Carver Elementary bus loop to get supplies.
"No matter how things look in September, children and teachers will still need the resources and support to continue education, even if it's going to be virtually," said Harris-Muhammed.
Volunteers have been wearing masks and as they've packed items for Saturday's distribution.
Organizers with Northside Coalition For Kids could still use at least 15 volunteers to stuff backpacks with school supplies. If you would like to volunteer, contact the nonprofit here.
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