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Convoy of Hope preparing for its back-to-school event in Wichita, surrounding cities

Credit: Convoy of Hope
Convoy of Hope-Wichita will be at sites in Wichita, Goddard, Valley Center and Hutchinson on Saturday.

Saturday's event provides free backpacks, school supplies and others items to children and their families.

Convoy of Hope-Wichita will host its annual back-to-school event on Saturday.

The nonprofit is looking for at least 1,000 volunteers to help at all 10 distribution locations in Wichita, Valley Center, Goddard and Hutchinson. The 11th annual event starts at 7 a.m, but distribution begins at 9 a.m. It will last until 2 p.m. or when supplies run out.

Volunteers will help give out bags of groceries, welcome packets with information about community services and backpacks filled with school supplies. To receive a backpack, parents must bring their child to the event.

Cheri Lankford, one of the co-directors of the event, said that's the only rule for receiving services.

“I think it’s important to know that there’s no requirements,” she said. “There’s no IDs required, no background information that we need. Everyone is welcome, everyone qualifies.”

The walk-in locations at Bethel Life Church and Colvin Elementary School in Planeview have brought back additional services and activities. Bethel’s services will include back-to-school haircuts, family photos, a job fair and other community resources.

Colvin Elementary will have games and inflatables for kids.

“Our event, from the beginning, has always been about bringing people together, loving on our neighbors and just letting them know that people care,” Lankford said. “So the main thing about this year, I think, is going to be just continuing to move past COVID and to see where we can meet those additional needs.”

Convoy of Hope-Wichita plans on serving more than 11,000 people who are in the process of preparing for their children to go back to school. It anticipates giving out more than 10,000 backpacks and bags of groceries.

Several churches, nonprofits, businesses and government agencies are working with Convoy of Hope-Wichita to host the event.

Volunteers can either register at www.volunteerkansas.org, or show up at the location where they want to volunteer at 6:30 a.m.

The event locations include:

  • Bethel Life Center, 3777 S. Meridian
  • McAdams Park, 1329 E. 13th St. North
  • Hope Church, 2000 S. Hillside
  • Zaik Church,  888 S. Webb Road
  • His Helping Hands will be at Central Christian Church, 2900 N. Rock Road 
  • Evergreen Recreation Center, 2700 N. Woodland
  • Colvin Elementary School, 2820 S. Roosevelt
  • Lifepoint Church will be at Valley Center High School, 9600 N. Meridian
  • Reno County churches will be at the Kansas State Fairgrounds 
  • Goddard Eisenhower High School, 1230 S. 167th St. West
Sarah Beauchamp (she/her) is an intern for the Wichita Journalism Collaborative. She previously worked for The Sunflower, the student newspaper at Wichita State University, and was a KMUW News intern in the summer of 2023. She graduated in May 2023 with a major in International Studies and a minor in Communications.