LEXINGTON, Ky. (WKYT) - For the eighth year, the YMCA of Central Kentucky hosted back-to-school rallies in several Lexington communities.
"It's just important that they start off right and I think that starts with school supplies," says Emily Gibson, a first grade teacher and volunteer at the event.
In just a few short weeks, another school year will begin. That means parents and kids are stocking up on school supplies. But all too often, this is something that many families struggle to afford.
"I know the teachers try to do their best to minimize the cost for parents," says Tiara Stroy, a parent of four children. "But once you get in situations like me, I have four children, eventually all four of them will be in school, so it's trying to find cost-efficient ways and rallies like this that really help large families like mine."
Back to School Rallies kicked off in 18 different Lexington neighborhoods on Saturday.
"It helps us get the generic things out of the way," Stroy says.
Binders, paper and pencils are just a few of the supplies found in the 8,000 backpacks for elementary, middle and high school children. Anything to give kids the basic tools they need and parents some relief.
"A lot of times kids don't have the basic needs at home that they need to be successful in school," says Gibson. "They come unprepared and it just doesn't set them up for success. So, something like this is really good for our students just to have a good foundation and to get started."
Each of the neighborhoods also planned their own food and events surrounding the rallies. This was an effort to unify neighborhoods of all different cultures.
Passport Health, Kentucky Utilities, PNC Bank and United Way of the Bluegrass are just a few of the sponsors for these rallies.