Families receive free school clothes and supplies at a back-to-school event in DC’s Ward 8

Families gathered at the Gateway Pavilion in southeast DC for a free back-to-school event hosted by Monumental Sports & Entertainment Foundation.

Families gathered at the Gateway Pavilion in southeast DC for a free back-to-school event.

OMCP/Acacia James

Washington Wizards mascot G-Wiz greets people at a back-to-school giveaway in Southeast DC

OMCP/Acacia James

People who attended the event received free clothing, school supplies and healthy food.

OMCP/Acacia James

The event was organized by Monumental Sports & Entertainment Foundation in partnership with Martha’s Table and Delivering Goods.

OMCP/Acacia James

Families gathered at the Gateway Pavilion in southeast DC for a free back-to-school event. People who attended the event received free clothing, school supplies, healthy food and were able to get vaccinated against COVID-19.

The event was organized by the Monumental Sports & Entertainment Foundation, in partnership with nonprofits Martha’s Table and Delivering Goods.

Alexis Thomason, senior director of family engagement at Martha’s Table, said the gift was essential this year so families could spend their income on other basic needs. She also cited the coronavirus pandemic as one of the motivating factors for planning the giveaway.

“It’s been a very difficult year for a lot of families, and there’s a lot of anxiety about going back to school,” Thomason said.

She also noted that the event is being held in late July so families can plan for anything they might need throughout August.

“Families know what they have and what they still need to get,” Thomason said.

She said holding the event in Ward 8 was non-negotiable.

“Many of our programs that we offer are also geographically limited to our neighborhood to ensure that we infuse as many resources and supports into the people around us,” Thomason said.

In addition to free supplies and clothing, people could get the COVID shot and receive other health-related resources like blood pressure tests.

“One of the things that Martha’s Table has been instrumental in is making sure the neighbors and residents of the venue are vaccinated,” Thomason said.

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