JACKSONVILLE BEACH, Fla. -- BEAM has been lending a hand to help low income school kids get ready for the new school year for 21 years straight. Saturday was no exception.
More than 1,000 kids came to the Beaches United Methodist church to get new and gently used clothing and accessories, a $15 voucher for new shoes from Payless, new underwear and new socks, bags of school supplies and a new backpack.
Those backpacks were a big hit.
"My backpack is so cute...it is for my sister!," said Angelina Love .
"This is my book bag, it is a Ninja Turtle book bag," said Tyree Jones. "I really like it because it has dots in it."
The Beaches Emergency Assistance Ministry, better known as BEAM, does this every year to make the first day of school a little less stressful for children in need.
"We know the need, we know it is really tough to feed their families over a course of a month, much less be able to provide school supplies for them," said Susan King, BEAM executive director. "We also know it is enormously important for a child to go back to school with the same advantages as everybody else."
Jessa Bolster is appreciative of BEAM's efforts, a real blessing, she says.
"So many of us are struggling to take care of our children so this is a great, great help. BEAM helps us support our children, just like the teachers, make us have a better place, for our children to grow up to be good kids," Bolster says. "It is a big push for us to go in the right direction."
More than 200 volunteers of all ages show up to help out at this event. Sue Glawe has been volunteering here for 20 years.
"I love it when the kids come in and they get so excited about picking out their underwear, picking out their socks, getting the new school supplies, especially the little ones, they get so excited to get something new," Glawe said.
Little Tyree Jones would agree...
"It's awesome! I'm ready!"