ABERDEEN – For the second year in a row, a Georgia-based nonprofit with Aberdeen ties has coordinated a free event giving students the opportunity to have fun, get stocked up on school supplies and be excited for the new school year.

This year’s Platform of Hope Back 2 School Bash will be held at the Aberdeen Park and Recreation Building, located at 611 W. Commerce St., Aug. 3 from 11 a.m. until 2 p.m.

“We’re trying to bring joy,” said Platform of Hope Execute Director Doris Smith, who graduated from Aberdeen High School in 1993. “If people show up with school supplies, we’ll take them. We’re encouraging teachers, staff and local professionals to greet the students to boost a positive morale.”

There will be a DJ; hotdogs, popcorn and cotton candy; inflatable bounce houses; anti-bullying- and anti-drug-related crafts and coloring sheets; and blood pressure screenings at the free event. There will also be 500 backpacks distributed beginning at noon.

“We’ve opened it up to all students from Monroe County, Aberdeen and Amory. We’re not turning anyone away,” Smith said.

In collaboration, the Junior Women’s League recently began a donation drive in the area, with school supplies to be given out during the back to school bash.

Supplies needed include backpacks, 24-count crayon packs, three-prong folders, hand sanitizer, paper, highlighters, notebooks, glue sticks, pencils, rulers, ink pens, scissors, one-inch binders, index cards, pencil boxes and bags, sleep mats, colored pencils, dry erase markers and tissues.

Other partners include Mothers of Vision, Power to Exhale and Dream Riders Chapter C. Members of the Aberdeen police and fire departments will also be present.

Smith’s goal is for Platform of Hope to provide two $500 scholarships for members of the class of 2020.

For more information about the Back 2 School Bash, visit www.platformofhope.org or call (770) 789-2888.

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