By Carlotta Mohamed
State Assemblyman Ron Kim (D-Flushing), in partnership with the 109th Police Precinct and HealthFirst, distributed 800 backpacks and supplies last week to hundreds of students and parents for the new school year.
Large crowds and a long line of attendees began to form hours before the official start time of the annual 2018 Backpack Giveaway held Aug. 30 at the 109th Precinct located at 37-05 Union St. in Flushing.
HealthFirst sponsored over 800 backpacks for the giveaway, and the 109th Precinct’s Community Council and Community Affairs Department donated 800 sets of school supplies to match the backpacks given away.
“This year’s backpack and school supplies giveaway was held on the last Thursday of August, just in time for the new school year. We are proud to continue this amazing annual tradition of giving backpacks and other essential school supplies to the students who need them,” said Kim. Sometimes something as basic but crucial as a backpack for children from underserved communities can make all the difference.”
Kim was joined by Keith Shine, commanding officer of the 109th Police Precinct; Detective Kevin O’Donnell of the Community Affairs Department; William Wang, director of Medicare for Healthfirst; representatives from Healthfirst; and other elected officials who represent the local community.
The Assembly member and his colleagues expressed their hopes that free backpacks and school supplies would give the children a strong start in the upcoming school year.
“Our sponsorship of the Backpack Giveaway is an example of HealthFirst’s commitment as a dedicated community partner, and we hope the parents and school-age children who came today will put the supplies they received to good use,” said William Wang, Healthfirst, director of Medicare.
Reach reporter Carlotta Mohamed by e-mail at cmoha