BOONE — Organizers of the Back 2 School Festival have announced plans to extend the school supply event to two days and are making an urgent call for donations.
The 2020 Back 2 School Festival will be held on Friday, Aug. 7, and Saturday, Aug. 8, at Watauga High School.
“While we are still uncertain about how the children will learn, the Back 2 School Festival remains committed to making sure every Watauga County student returns for the 2020-2021 school year confident and prepared with the tools they need to succeed,” organizers stated.
“Watauga County Schools anticipates even greater need this year due to COVID-19” said festival President Kendra Sink. “Many parents have lost jobs or are working protracted hours while our economy continues to recover. A lot of families in our area may be facing challenges paying for food, housing and other necessities for the first time. And school supplies are a huge expense they may not be able to handle.”
The Back 2 School Festival’s fundraising efforts were halted earlier this year with the statewide stay-at-home order.
“We have seen some of our supporting partners remain open and furlough employees, while some have had to shut their doors for good,” organizers stated. “We are grieving with them. We know we are facing extraordinary circumstances this year, but by sharing the load among many, it lightens it for those who need help the most.”
Over the last seven years, hundreds of volunteers, the faith community and civic-minded businesses invested in the future of Watauga County by supporting the Back 2 School Festival. Thanks to these efforts, children who otherwise would not have the supplies they need are arriving at school ready and prepared to learn.
Festival organizers say that $40,000 is needed this year to meet the needs of students, supplying them with school supplies, backpacks and shoes for a fresh start to the school year.
“You can make a difference by sponsoring, donating or volunteering your time,” organizers stated.
Visit Back2SchoolFestival.org to make your contribution or to learn more about opportunities to help. You may also mail a check to Back 2 School Festival at PO Box 102, Boone, NC 28607. All donations go directly toward the purchase of supplies and materials to benefit students.
In the past, businesses, churches, individuals and civic groups have sponsored the festival at various levels, which ranged between $250 and $5,000.
“We expect this year’s festival will look different from past years, but while we’re still working behind the scenes to determine exactly what the festival will look like, our goal remains the same: every child deserves to start school confident and prepared. No contribution is too small. With your help, we can build a better future for all of us, one student at a time,” the organizers stated.