Mad River students get free school supplies during Day of Giving Back

Amber Perez knows the cost of school supplies can add up and, with prices rising in recent years, “every little bit helps.”

The mother of three Mad River Local School District students and one graduate was among those Friday receiving bookbags filled with supplies — more than 1,500 bags in all, officials said.

“I think it’s the best thing you can do for somebody in the community,” Perez said. “There’s a lot of people who aren’t making ends meet and it’s hard out there right now.

“People in the community come together to make sure everybody gets involved,” she added. “It helps us out a lot” because buying items for a new school year, which starts Sept. 5, is “just so expensive.”

The bookbag and supply giveaway is the focus of the district’s ninth annual Day of Giving Back event, district officials said.

Hope4Riverside, a group of local pastors, and Crayons4Kids, a nonprofit organization, provided the bags and supplies, said Superintendent Chad Wyen, whose been with Mad River for 24 years.

“I’ve had a lot of the parents as students and now their children as students. So, for me it’s just a great opportunity to give back to the community, have a great community event and have time together before school starts to welcome our families back.”

Dozens of teachers, staff, pastors, and community members were part of the event held at Beverly Gardens Elementary, Overlook Homes Community Center and Mad River Middle School, officials said.

Recipients are “very grateful and very appreciative bookbags and school supplies to their students. So the first day they walk into school they’re ready to go and there’s no barriers.”