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Wichita community event offers free groceries, school supplies, fun to families

5,000 brave the rain for the Convoy of Hope

Thousands of Wichita children and adults braved the rain for free shoes, backpacks, haircuts at the Convoy of Hope in 2016.
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Thousands of Wichita children and adults braved the rain for free shoes, backpacks, haircuts at the Convoy of Hope in 2016.

Wichita families in need of hope will be able to receive free school supplies, groceries and more on Saturday.

Convoy of Hope Wichita, a non-profit organization, will host its seventh annual community event to provide families with support and fun at two locations on July 20, from 8:30 a.m. until supplies run out.

Families who attend will receive a free backpack, pair of shoes and haircuts for their children. The event will also provide free immunizations, family portraits, carnival games, groceries, a meal on site and career services, said Stacie Cathcart, Convoy of Hope Wichita director.

“It’s just a day of fun with your family, and at the same time, being able to get those things for your child that you need,” Cathcart said.

At 2018’s event, Convoy of Hope served over 8,000 people, according to a news release.

Cathcart said this year they expect between 12,000 and 14,000 people. 6,000 backpacks and over 5,000 pairs of TOMS shoes have been donated and will be handed out.

The event is funded by corporate and local partners and staffed with volunteers, Cathcart said.

“We want to be able to step in and bridge the gap,” Cathcart said. “These kids’ faces light up — it just gives them a boost in confidence. They’re excited to go to school and get a backpack and wear the new shoes.”

All families are welcome and will not be required to show proof of income, Cathcart said. The only requirement is to have a child in attendance to receive the free backpack and pair of shoes, she said.

Convoy of Hope will be held at two sites: McAdams Park and Bethel Life Center, 3777 S. Meridian Ave.

Cathcart said the goal is to open the gates as early as possible and the team is aiming for 8:30 a.m. She said as long as guests are on site, they will be served, but volunteers will begin to close down the venues around 1 to 2 p.m.

For more information visit Convoy of Hope Wichita’s website at www.convoyofhope.org/outreach/wichita.

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