SAVANNAH, Ga. (WSAV) – On August 8th, the annual ‘Ready, Set, Go! Back to School’ (RSGBTS) expo will kick off. This year, it’s taking on a new look as a drive-thru event.
“It’s not that many people are looking for just a handout; it’s a helping hand because of everything that we’re going through within our environment with COVID and so many individuals needing more, with unemployment skyrocketing,” Donna Williams a board member with RSGBTS, explained.
Williams said financial setbacks and the challenges presented by virtual learning will impact countless families in the upcoming school year.
“So it’s extremely crucial that we all do what we can to support. It’s going to mean a whole lot not only to the kids, but the parents, the families. Generally we’ve served 5,000 over the years, with ‘Ready Set Go!’. We definitely anticipate serving well beyond that number because of the pandemic and especially since they’re in a challenging position, virtually. We don’t want to give them some extra stressors on top of what we have going on.”
The nonprofit was flooded with calls in the spring from families trying to transition to online learning and needing staples like composition books and pencil sharpeners. Williams said getting donations from sponsors, community members, and local businesses will be even more essential this year.
“Chatham Parkway, I take my hat off to them because I’m sure their industry may not be as great as it’s been but they’re still reaching out and helping those in the community,” Williams said at a check presentation where Chatham Parkway Toyota donated 2,500 dollars to the organization.
‘Ready, Set, Go! Back to School’ was started 12 years ago, and with ten of the original founders still on the board, their president said it’s a blessing to continue to get kids the tools they need to learn.
“We encourage the community to support us in helping us pack bags for the community this year,” Rev. W. James Nelson, the nonprofit’s president, said.
WSAV is a proud sponsor of the event. Donations can be dropped off at the AT&T store on 214 Mall Boulevard in Savannah, the Empowerment Center on 4704 Augusta Road in Garden City, and at WSAV on 1430 E. Victory Drive. Cash donations are also accepted. Click HERE to make a donation.
Click HERE for more information about the items they need.