Low-income families in San Gabriel Valley receive helping hand before new school year

ARCADIA, Calif. (KABC) -- More than 1,000 San Gabriel Valley students are better prepared for the new school year thanks to an annual giveaway organized by Foothill Unity Center.

The giveaway, held at Santa Anita Park since 2004, is meant for low income families.

Eager students roaming the aisles have access to new backpacks and school supplies, along with new clothes, haircuts and dental care.

Reatte Woods, who brought her two children, explained how helpful the supplies and support are to her family before the start of school, August 12.

"A lot of times (parents) just don't have the money for the new things for the first day of school - and here they provide that to you," said Woods.

"We want them to start that first day confident, feeling good about themselves, and that's gonna carry through the year," said Betty McWilliams, Executive Director at Foothill Unity Center.

"It's a blessing to know you have help," said Woods.

The event helps approximately 1,100 students from pre-kindergarten into college. Also unique, up to 20% of students attending the free event are from families who work with horses at Santa Anita Park.
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