When Gabriel Hurley, 8, goes back to Westview School on Aug. 13, he will be prepared.
Gabriel and his mother, Amanda Hurley, were just one of an estimated 1,200-plus students who participated in the sixth annual We Care Fair Saturday at Abundant Life Assembly of God, 700 Spencer Dr., Neosho.
Open to schoolchildren in Newton and McDonald counties, the event gave them the chance to get free school supplies, haircuts, clothes and shoes.
This was the first time that Amanda attended the event.
“We came for the clothes,” she said. “I hope to get school supplies for my children.”
Those who pre-registered for the event were entitled to school supplies. Then, after that, the school supplies were given on a first-come, first-served basis.
Amanda said the event was very important to her.
“Otherwise, we were not be able to buy school supplies and clothes,” she said. “I usually spend about $200 per kid, and I have three kids. That doesn’t include clothes and shoes. On clothes and shoes, I spend about $300 to $400 per kid.”
Amanda said she would encourage others to attend.
“It saves a lot of time, a lot of money. To come here and get the clothes, school supplies, hair cut, it is awesome,” she said.
Amy Tanner brought her son, Jacob Tanner, who will be entering kindergarten this year in Anderson.
“We were needing help on school supplies, clothes and things,” she said on the reason why they came. “It is very beneficial. It helps people, funds are tough, things are getting more and more expensive, and this really helps. We really appreciate it. He (Jacob) is getting clothes, school supplies, whatever they have for us, we will appreciate.”
Asked if he is ready for school, Jacob said “yes,” adding he would like “playing” most about school.
Tanya Stone, owner of Shag-A-Delx Hair Salon, Anderson, was one of the hairdressers giving haircuts to students.
“This is our fifth year coming here,” she said. “We are always very involved in the community, our surrounding areas, we go everywhere and we always give back, that is our No. 1 priority.”
Stone said that the students get whatever haircut they want during the event.
She also encourages other businesses – including from McDonald County – to participate in this We Care Fair.
“Your No. 1 gift should be to give back, use your talents how you supposed to,” she said.
Peyton Sebastian, 7, received a hair cut from Stone. His grandmother, Shawn Griner, said that the Saturday event was a great idea.
“When you are struggling financially, trying to make ends meet, this is an opportunity to get the supplies that your children need,” Griner said. “It is a very big help to the community, to individual families.”