BALTIMORE (WJZ) — A Baltimore-born entrepreneur lends his name to get thousands of students back-to-school ready. But pens and papers aren’t the only supplies kids will need in the upcoming days of school.
Gigi Barnett explains how one music mogul is stepping in to help.
Third grader Breasia Fulton’s back to school list is long.
“Crayons, pencils,” she said. “Notebooks.”
Inside a backpack stuffed with supplies, she’ll take home what she needs for free.
“My parents did it for me, so I want to try to do it for as many people as I can,” said Kevin Liles.
Liles is the man behind the back to school festival. It drew crowds of parents and students this weekend to Security Square Mall to claim their school supplies.
“Times are hard. Bills don’t stop but the little bit of school help… book-bags, things like that… that’s great,” said Renetta Blakely. “So, I’m here.”
“I was going to get his hair cut and they said that they got free book-bags. I said, `Well, we’re going to stand right here,'” said Sonny Gencel.
But Liles says there’s much more here than pens and paper.
“It’s anything from health care, dental, vaccinations,” Liles said. “Backpacks, computers, job opportunities.”
Liles says he’s hosted the back to school festival for the last three years to teach students a lesson that he’s learned in the music industry.
“I want them to see that you can still be a part of hip hop culture. You can still be part of the entertainment business, but you have to be a giver. And that’s when the greatest success comes, when you’re a giver,” he said.
By the end of the day, volunteers passed out 6,000 backpacks. The only criteria students needed to get one was to be with their parents.
The Maryland Food Bank partnered with Liles’ event and gave out more than 50,000 pounds of food to students.
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