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Update 8/10/20: Americus Police Department sponsors Back to School Giveaway for the students of Sumter County

AMERICUS – Though students in Sumter County won’t be having in-school instruction for the first nine weeks of the school year, the Americus Police Department (APD), with the help of other organizations and businesses, decided to help out the county’s students of all grade levels and their families by holding a back to school drive-thru to provide free bags already filled with school supplies so that the kids will be prepared to learn while at home and will be ready to learn once it is determined that it is safe for them to be back in school. The drive-thru was held on Thursday afternoon, August 6, at 3 p.m. at Central Baptist Church at 190 Upper River Road in Americus.

Numerous vehicles came through the church parking lot to receive the backpacks and each recipient was also treated to a snack and a drink.

“Each bag contains a pack of paper, a pack of pencils, coloring markers, as well as colored pencils and then a pencil case. Each car will get two bags and then at the end, we have some snacks for them,” said Col. Eric Bryant of the Sumter County Sherriff’s Office. “It’s just a way to give back to the community to help our families out getting the kids ready for school.”

A police officer is about ready to give out more bags to families at the Back to School Drive-Thru at Central Baptist Church. The drive-thru was sponsored by the Americus Police Department.
Photo by Ken Gustafson

Americus First United Methodist Church was a huge driving force in helping the drive-thru to be a tremendous success. AFUMC purchased numerous school supplies and many volunteers from the church packed hundreds of bags with school supplies to be handed out to families who came from all over Sumter County to pick them up.

Several other organizations and businesses were involved in the back to school drive-thru, including the Americus Rotary Club, WAL-MART, the Junior Service League, South Georgia Technical College, Pepsi, the Americus Shrine Club, the Sumter County Sherriff’s Office and Central Baptist Church. According to Col. Bryant, each of these organizations contributed to providing the school supplies that were put into the bags.

Volunteers representing these organizations set up tents along the drive-thru route and handed out numerous bags to the families as they drove by.

“This is a pretty awesome event to be able to engage the community and being able to do something that is much needed, as well as doing it very safely,” said Kenny Philips of the Americus Rotary Club.

In addition to giving away school supplies, snacks and drinks, volunteers also gave out free masks to the families as well. The drive-thru giveaway started at 3 p.m. and continued until there were no bags left.