Third Back To School Jam bigger than ever

Rupert Bell Park played host to the third annual Kyndall Project Back to School Jam.

Third Back To School Jam bigger than ever
August 16
09:55 2018

The Kyndall Project’s third annual Back to School Jam was bigger than ever.  With a goal to give away 1,000 backpacks, organizers not only reached their goal, they exceed it.  Rupert Bell Park played host to the event last Saturday afternoon, Aug. 11.

Kyndall Williams and her mother April Reich started the Kyndall Project as an effort to enhance what the young Williams had been doing her entire life, which was helping others.  For the past three years the nonprofit has increased its total number of backpacks and school supplies.  This year, the project gave away 1,069 backpacks with school supplies to the community.

To assist with the efforts this year, Williams initiated an executive board comprised of other young women interested in helping others.  Reich stated the young women did a great job of taking some of the load off of Williams as well as reaching more people to help.

“Each bookbag included supplies, hygiene products and healthy snacks,” said Reich.  “The executive board took a lot of slack off of me by reaching out to people they know, raising funds and helping to pass out fliers.

“The girls did an excellent job and they are learning what to do next year as far as the changes they want to make and the people they want to reach out to,” Reich continued.

In total, the Back To School Jam had almost a dozen vendors, such as Legal Aid, Kidz Cab, Two Sisters and a Lemon, Novant Health and after-school programs, among others to serve the community.

Reich says she wanted to bring the vendors to the people because many individuals in the neighborhood may not have access to them otherwise.

Along with the vendors, the Back To School Jam included several performing artists as well to liven up the crowd.  Miss Sania, Krisalo Da Rapper Tho, Ms. Favo, Tszani P, AJ the DJ and Joel kept the energy up all afternoon long.

With the short number of years the nonprofit has been around, Reich is not surprised by the high number of backpacks they were able to accumulate.  She says their goal is to help others, which makes others want to contribute to their efforts even more.

“It makes our hearts feel good because it was still people donating to the cause the day of the event,” said Reich.  “This is a year-round thing, and we have to let people know that kids need supplies throughout the year.  I get phone calls throughout the year from people who need things and I tell them to just give me your location and I meet them there.

“We like to move in silence and let our work speak for ourselves and we have to keep God first with everything we do,” Reich continued.

Moving forward, the Kyndall Project plans to initiate a mentor program to help young girls deal with issues such as bullying or etiquette.  Reich says they do not have a target number for next year, but they do not plan on doing anything lower that what has already been reached.  She says she would like to increase the supplies given in each bookbag to help the kids even further.

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Timothy Ramsey

Timothy Ramsey

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