ROSEDALE, Md. (WJZ) — School shopping has just begun for some parents but others are checking the job off their lists, thanks to Ravens player Matt Birk.

Gigi Barnett reports he passed out thousands of dollars in school supplies.

One hundred and fifty backpacks were stuffed with school supplies. All that was left to do was pass them out, and that job went to the workers at the Wal-Mart in Rosedale. The supplies were a gift to dozens of city students, courtesy of Ravens center Matt Birk.

“The more people they can hear it from that education is the key to their success, I think the better. And coming from a football player, it might be a little unique,” Birk said.

It was quite exciting to meet the Ravens’ star player as well.

“Just to meet someone else from the Ravens team. I met Ray Rice already. To meet someone else makes me happy,” said Ravens fan Antonio Moore.

Birk’s Hike Foundation teamed up with Wal-Mart to give away more than $15,000 of supplies in the back-to-school giveaway.

Wal-Mart says it’s just one way to start the school year right.

“They’ll be going to school probably worried about what they don’t have and it may hinder their learning curve,” Scott Bonsall, manager of the Wal-Mart in Rosedale, said. “So this way, we think we might get them off to a fast start.”

Inside each backpack for boys and girls are things like pencil boxes loaded with crayons, pens and paper. These are now things that Wal-Mart says parents don’t have to worry about.

“We want them to focus on other things, kids doing well at school,” Birk said.

“It was going to be tough for me because I’m not working,” parent Xiomara Baires said.

But now, for Baires and her five kids, shopping for school supplies is done.

“I don’t cry because I’m embarrassed, but I’m happy,” Baires said.

Wal-Mart says it’s partnering with the city for another school supplies giveaway later this month.


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