Several local organizations make sure area youth have needed back to school items


Ken Hostetler (right) and his daughter Savannah (center) check out with Roxanna Shumate at Love INC’s clothing store, Covered With Love, in Huntington, on Thursday, Aug. 1. Photo by Steve Clark.

Two local organizations have planned events to supply area youth with needed back to school items.

Crossroad Connections and the Indiana Dream Center have scheduled the Back 2 School Blast and Steps for Success, respectively, for Saturday, Aug. 10.

The Back 2 School Blast will be held at Hier's Park. A community rummage sale and Crossroad Connections Kidz Clothes Trade kick-off the event and will be held from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Free game booths in which the prizes are back to school items will run from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m., concurrent with a past and present car, truck and bike show and a Super Soaker Blast.

From 8 p.m. to dusk, the trio Classic Voice will perform a free family concert on the park's stage, followed by a glow light cruise-out featuring the entries in the car, truck and bike show.

"We traded over 1,000 pieces of clothing last year," says Crossroad Connections Director Valerie Fields of the Kidz Clothes Trade. "That is where (families) can bring in lightly-used, outgrown clothes and trade for the next size up."

Crossroad Connections provides the larger clothes, which were donated to the organization.

Fields credits local businesses and organizations for helping to make the first-year event, which is also a fund-raiser for Crossroad Connections, a possibility. El Shaddai is one of the sponsors, as well as Beacon Credit Union, which is sponsoring the concert.

"Bring out a blanket and camp out on the Hier's Park ground there in front of the stage and just enjoy some good music," Fields says.

Steps for Success enters its first year as an Indiana Dream Center event and its fourth year overall.

The event will be held in Drover Park, with a "back to school" speech by Huntington Mayor Brooks Fetters at 10 a.m. starting things off.

Open to students in kindergarten through 12th grade, the event offers new shoes and socks, haircuts, hygiene and dental kits, as well as snacks and games.

The Awakening Church is responsible for the shoes, with grant money and donations also helping with costs. Walmart gave the Dream Center space outside its store on Saturday, Aug. 3, and Sunday, Aug. 4, to collect new shoes, as well as donations.

"It's really about more than just putting shoes on kids' feet, it's about a community coming together and finding what resources it has and making those available," says Dream Center Adopt-a-Block Director Christine Walker.

Love INC also helped area youth with back to school needs recently with its furnishing of clothing, backpacks and supplies at its Covered With Love store, in Huntington, from Aug. 1-3.

Local churches and the Youth Services Bureau helped with the initiative.

Markle Health & Rehabilitation, in Markle, aided local youth with back to school needs as well through its donation of 100 backpacks to Karing for Kids, a Bluffton-based organization that helps families.

The backpacks were given away to students during the fourth annual Back to School Carnival, which was held Sunday, Aug. 4, at the Markle Church of Christ.

Markle Health & Rehabilitation also hosted a golf outing to raise money for the carnival.

For more information about the Back 2 School Blast and Steps for Success, visit www.crossroad connections.org and www.IndianaDreamCen ter.com, respectively.

Complete caption: Ken Hostetler (right) and his daughter Savannah (center) check out with Roxanna Shumate at Love INC’s clothing store, Covered With Love, in Huntington, on Thursday, Aug. 1. Love INC partnered with local churches and the Youth Services Bureau last week to provide families with clothing and other back to school supplies at the store.