Back-to-school fair in Riverside provides students in need with plenty of resources for school

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Saturday, August 6, 2022
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The event was held on the grounds of Harvest Christian Fellowship Church, which turned its parking lot into a one-stop-shop for students and their families.

RIVERSIDE, Calif. (KABC) -- Hundreds of families attended the Riverside County Office of Education's inaugural back-to-school fair as students gear up for their first day of classes on Monday.

The fair was held to provide resources for students in need.

The event was held on the grounds of Harvest Christian Fellowship Church which turned its parking lot into a one-stop-shop for students and their families.

"With the rising costs of resources of things, commodities, I think it is important to come together as a community to bless and support our students, especially as they get back into school," said Edwin Gomez with the Riverside County Superintendent of Schools.

Soles4Souls donated more than 700 backpacks with supplies, along with a 1,000 pairs of shoes and 2,000 pairs of socks.

The event intended to help homeless, foster care and low-income children by reducing the barriers of getting an education.

"It is very important. This is my grandson. He is going to start kindergarten and never been to preschool, so this is very important. I need the extra help," said La Rhonda of Beaumont.

Haircuts as well as eye exams, dental care, and physicals were also provided.

"It's really helpful especially for low-income families and the foster youth because they don't have the money to get these resources that they need," said Ariel of Riverside.

Other organizations like Operation Warm are partnering with community groups and corporations to provide winter coats and shoes ahead of the school year.

"Those kinds of organizations that are supporting families in need will reach out to us and out in a request for a wish for a coat or a pair of shoes for five kids or 500 kids," said Brenda Lee, Vice President of marketing for Operation Warm.

The nonprofit manufactures its own line of coats and shoes and donates them to children in need.

Last month, the organization worked with Taco Bell to distribute 200 pairs of news shoes to students in Santa Ana.

"The timing on that could not have been better, " Lee said.

To learn more, visit Operation Warm's website.