Students in Calhoun, Gordon County and surrounding areas can receive free school supplies, clothes, shoes, haircuts and more during a back-to-school event planned next month.

The third annual event is planned for Saturday, Aug. 3, from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the Calhoun Recreation Department located at 601 S. River St.

Sherry Turner of East Calhoun Church Clothing Closet is one of the organizers, and she said last year that her group gave out 553 backpacks.

Multiple churches and businesses participate in the event, with each bringing something different to offer the participating children. Turner said that students can pick up a backpack and then move to the various stations to collect the items they need.

There will also be representatives from several salons offering free haircuts, as well as food and music. Turner said they try to create a carnival-like atmosphere.

“It just kind of makes it fun for the kids,” she said.

The event started three years ago after Turner realized a lot of different churches and organizations were hosting similar events, and she thought they could reach more students by working together.

“It’s so silly to have 15 people doing the same thing, so why don’t we join together?” she said.

The event is open to all school-aged children and their families, regardless of school district. Even students from beyond Gordon County are welcome.

“The only thing we ask is that a kid be present,” Turner said.

Volunteers are still needed for the event, and donations will still be accepted until the day before the event.

For more information or to get involved, contact Turner at 678-767-0071.

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