Local organizations host backpack giveaway

Published: Aug. 5, 2023 at 10:20 PM CDT
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LAWTON, Okla. (KSWO) - The Great 580 hosted its sixth annual backpack giveaway in partnership with the Lawton Fort Sill Chamber of Commerce to support local students and educators within the community.

Each backpack came with plenty of school supplies including scissors, paper,pencils and pens.

One leader of the Great 580 says this event was small the first time around since then, it’s grown into something much bigger than they could have ever imagined.

“What we started out as just a little idea,” said Vice President of the Great 580 Ashlie Overby.

“(Its) a dream between a couple friends grew into something that the community has really supported and looking forward to every year. So it’s a blessing to see how God is working.”

Chamber of Commerce President and CEO John Michael Montgomery says events like these help bring the community together.

“It’s an opportunity for our community to come together and work together, which is a big deal. It’s really important for our community to know that we do work together if we can have these opportunities. And certainly, there’s always learning experiences as part of this but you know it’s just a great thing.”

The event provided 744 total backpacks along with tons of extra school supplies for teachers to stock their classrooms with.

Local businesses like Fidelity and Arvest also handed out chips and hot dogs to those who were there.

All of this is to show just how deep the community’s support goes when it comes to a great cause.

“The bottom line is to debunk shadiness.” said Jeff Elbert, President and founder of the Great 580.

“If you look behind me, I don’t see nothing shady going on; I see a bunch of cool things happening, and that’s greatness. Even though we got a negative wrap, being the shady 580 the whole idea is to document and showcase the greatness of this city.”