EL PASO, Texas -- During this pandemic, buying school supplies can be difficult for some parents.
On Tuesday, the Great Khalid Foundation relieved more than 300 parents of that burden by giving away brand-new backpacks to sixth-grade students at SSG Manuel R. Puentes Middle School in Far East El Paso.
Puentes Middle School Principal Monica Castro wrote an essay to the foundation hoping to bring the group to the school so students there could get free backpacks.
She was surprised when she received a call from the Great Khalid Foundation letting her know that the group was coming to her school.
“I was like screaming in my car. I was like, 'Oh my god, I can’t believe we won this. This is so amazing,'" Castro said.
“When I wrote the essay, I just kinda wrote from the heart, how this year being one of those years that is just extra stressful for parents," Castro added. "We have a lot of our parents that probably haven’t been able to work and might not be able to afford school supplies.”
The Great Khalid Foundation’s back-to-school drive is a way to help students have a great start to the upcoming school year. For Abigail Tejeda, it meant a lot that one of her favorite artists was giving back to his community.
“I'm really excited. It means a lot that he thinks about the community. He thinks about the sixth graders here at Puentes. It means a lot,” Tejada said.
Backpacks were given out to over 300 students in a special drive-thru event.
Each backpack was filled with school supplies including paper, pencils, notebooks and other needed items.
For parents like Lorie Tejeda, this kind gesture from the Great Khalid Foundation is something that she knows will excite students who may be nervous about the upcoming school year.
“It’s amazing because you know, starting middle school is already hard, and you wanna get the kids excited and you want them to come back and I think that this really just helps promote that," Tejada said.
Although Khalid himself wasn't able to make the event, the students and parents who received these free backpacks were excited and relieved that one burden was taken off of their shoulders during these difficult times.
"There’s a need in the community, especially now during the pandemic. We have a lot of mothers and fathers that have lost their jobs, in a different economic situation than they were in last year,” said Linda Wolfe, mother of Khalid and executive director of the Great Khalid Foundation.