Thousands of feet shuffled down the line in the Burke High School gymnasium in downtown Charleston on Saturday afternoon.
The line was made up of students and parents receiving free back-to-school supplies for the new year. Those free donations are thanks to the band members of Hootie and the Blowfish.
“We're just having fun and we really appreciate what the community does for the children for back-to-school,” Cynthia Mack said.
This is the 11th year band members are distributing school supplies to local school kids. The band says about 1,500 students received school supplies.
Volunteers woke up early in the morning to get a head start on preparing for the big crowd.
“I've been out here since nine a.m.,” Homegrown Roundup Volunteer Savanna Cooke said. “I've been setting up, unpacking boxes of school supplies, and putting everything together.”
“It's always rewarding knowing that you're helping someone else,” Homegrown Roundup Volunteer Victor Shellhammer said. “It's just kind of a feeling that you can't describe.”
Grammy award-winning artist Darrius Rucker said he has a personal reason for donating.
“I grew up here,” Rucker said. “I was on the free lunch program and all that stuff growing up in school. I didn't have a backpack sometimes going to school.”
Rucker says the best part of Saturday’s event is watching the kids leave the line.
“It's just great for me to see those kids go through the line and their faces at the end, you know how happy they are with all the stuff they got, and they're ready to go to school and they're excited,” Rucker said. “You know, that's a great feeling.”
That’s a feeling that will keep the band coming back for many years to come.
“We're filling a need,” Hootie and the Blowfish Band Member Mark Bryan said. “There are 1200 kids this year, which means there's a need, so we'll keep doing it as long as we can help.”
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