GAFFNEY — Broad River Electric Charities has provided 3,000 book bags to elementary students across the upstate of South Carolina. Over 40 schools and community centers in Spartanburg, Union and Cherokee counties including the Town of Carlisle received book bags the week before the academic year begins on August 20.
“There is a need for these backpacks and other supplies throughout our area,” explained Barbara Whitney, Chair of the Broad River Electric Charities Board and a retired school administrator in Spartanburg County. “We wanted to help our children begin their school year equipped, not just with supplies, but with the knowledge that their community supports them.”
The funds used to purchase the packs came from the Operation Round Up® program, a Broad River Electric program in which the cooperative’s members round up their monthly bills to the nearest dollar. The extra change accumulates into a benevolent fund that is distributed to local charities and causes. This is the sixth consecutive summer that the fund has provided book bags to local students.
The spiral bound notebook and a pack of paper inside each bag was donated by the Dollar General Distribution Center in Jonesville. The facility is one of Broad River Electric Cooperative’s industrial members and a strong supporter of local schools.
On August 14, Broad River Electric Charities Board members and Cooperative staff packed the book bags with supplies. They were assisted by volunteers from Buford Street United Methodist Church Youth and Crossroads Rescue Mission. Broad River Electric representatives spent the next two days hand delivering the bags to the dozens of schools and community centers in the area.
One of the recipients of the book bags is the Town of Carlisle which will distribute them during its “Back To School Festival” this afternoon. BREC Manager of Marketing and Strategic Services Josh Crotzer personally presented Mary Ferguson-Glenn with 70 book bags at the Carlisle Town Hall.
“We are very happy to receive the book bags,” Ferguson-Glenn said Friday. “We are very thankful to Broad River Electric Cooperative for their continued support. They have been donating us to for several years and we are thankful for all they have done for us.”
’Back To School Festival’
The Town of Carlisle is holding its 15th Annual “Back To School Festival” today (Saturday) from 1-6 p.m. at the Carlisle Playground at the intersection of Pinckney and Cambridge streets.
As in previous years the Back To School Festival will feature fashion and talent shows, games for both children and adults, prizes, music, and food. This year’s festival will also feature horse rides and a bounce house.
The families with school age children in attendance at the event will receive free book bags filled school supplies. The goal of the town is to help the children of the Carlisle Community and their families be prepared for the start of the new school year by providing them with supplies the children can use at school.
As in previous years, the book bags will have such traditional school supplies as notebook paper, book binders, pencils, and pens. The supplies in the book bags will be based on the grades — elementary, middle, and high school — the students receiving them will be attending, adding that this reflects the growth of the festival over the years.
In order to receive the supplies, the children receiving them must be present to get them and they must be accompanied by an adult family member.
Broad River Electric Cooperative, Inc. (BREC) is a non-profit, member-owned distribution cooperative providing services to more than 20,000 members in Cherokee, Spartanburg Union and Newberry counties in South Carolina and Cleveland, Polk and Rutherford counties in North Carolina.
Charles Warner can be reached at 864-762-4090.