PARKLAND, FL- At a time that can be challenging for many families in South Florida, the Parkland and Broward communities stepped in a successful effort to help local children and their families. The "Back to School Bash" event held at Hope South Florida and organized by Heather Khalil outfitted students in need with 1,000 backpacks that were filled with school supplies. The children also received new school outfits, basic clothing items, and toiletries. The backpacks were donated by Parkland and Broward families and were personalized based on individual needs. The backpacks were distributed at the event and the remaining were to be distrubuted by God's Little Lamb SLiding Scale Preschool, Kids in Distress and Hope South Florida.

Families attending the event were also able to receive complimentary services and helpful items as they prepared for the new school season. 300 people attended the event and were able to enjoy a festive atmosphere, including breakfest, lunch, and a sundae bar.

Complimentary services provided by local community members included:

  • Shoes provided by In Jacob's Shoes
  • Haircuts by Sarah Finkelstein and Alexa Goldrich
  • Clothing distribution by Tina Blankenship, Dana Grynbaum and son Joshua
  • Backpack distribution by Michele Allison, Jen and Tyson Prickett, and Victoria Pirrug
  • Nail painting by Tania, Alexa, and Livi Teo
  • Breakfast by Stephanie Rodriguez, Stacey Beebe, Lumi and Ira Goldfarb, and Prickett's
  • Books by Gillian Roos and family
  • Lunch from Little Havana provided by Calvary Chapel Parkland's Steve Daigle and church members
  • Dental care provided Rebecca Vizzi and Nova Dental School students
  • Care products by OBGYN Heather Hernandez, Brooke Slaton and more
  • Sundae bar was provided by the Khalil family, Yiset Bayor, Bridget Zaragoza, Denise, Victoria, and Alexa Stampone and served by Sam Khalil, Victoria Pirrug, and Alexa Goldrich

The "Back to School Bash" effort not only supports local community members in need, but unites those that are in a position to help. Calvary Chapel Parkland Pastor Steve Daigle summed up the event well. "It was an amazing experience to be able to serve people in need along with other Parkland residents and Hope South Florida. We saw the eyes of the children light up as we served them ice cream, it reminded us just how important it us to be able to give back to others and be thankful for all that we have."