Chattahoochee backpack giveaway helps those struggling after Hurricane Michael

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By: Monica Casey | WCTV Eyewitness News
August 10, 2019

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WCTV) -- The community in Chattahoochee is working together to get kids back to school with everything they need.

The Tau Theta Omega Chapter of Alpha Kappa Alpha and the Pi Psi Lambda chapter of Alpha Phi Alpha worked together to put on the "Phirst Pham Back to School Giveaway."

"part of our initiative is that we come into the community and help the community, so that this is our point when we give back," said Latoya Robinson, the President of the Tau Theta Omega Chapter.

The event was held at the Johnny Johnson Pavilion from 11:00 a.m. until 2:00 p.m.

Leeandrew Marlowe, a fifth grade student, told WCTV he is excited for the new school year.

"I like math and reading!" said Marlowe.

Marlowe said the event makes him feel happy.

"There's a bouncy house, snow cones, and popcorn," said Marlowe.

Incoming first grade student Camden Thorpe also had fun at the event.

"There's a water hose and a trampoline," said Thorpe. "It feels like they're family," he said of the event attendees.

Thorpe said his favorite part of kindergarten was playing on the playground, and he's excited for learning new things in first grade.

Samarion Kennedy, going into eighth grade, is also excited.

"Learning new things, I mean I'm looking very forward to that!" said Kennedy. "I like math, I'm good with math."

The event also included representatives from Home of Reads, giving out free books.

"We know that some communities lack the necessary resources to provide diversity in literature," said founder Dr. Makisha Cheeks. "We want to make sure that we are focusing on phonics, that we're focusing on vocabulary building."

Organizers chose Chattahoochee for the second annual drive, after past severe weather.

"We focused on this area when we looked at the county we serve, which is Gadsden County, because this area was heavily impacted by Hurricane Michael," said Octavius Jackson, the President of Pi Psi Lambda Chapter of Alpha Phi.