HORRY COUNTY, SC (WMBF) - An upcoming event designed to help hundreds of children in our area is being planned.
A Day of Hope is set for Aug. 12, with a goal of collecting school supplies and giving underprivileged kids a message to get them ready for the upcoming school year.
Sheila Karsevar, the founder of Day of Hope in Horry County, said the event is not just about a backpack or a free haircut.
"The whole message of the day is that Jesus loves them and God has a plan for their life," Karsevar said.
Now in its third year, Day of Hope has assisted more than 400 children and nearly 200 families in Horry County. This year there are more than 220 students registered to participate.
Donations for school supplies, backpacks and other items have come from all over. The goal is for each child to receive a new backpack filled with the items that they need, as well as a new pair of shoes.
Karsevar said the shoes will also include a special blessing ceremony that will honor the children. Their feet will be washed before trying on the brand new shoes and socks.
"They don't have to participate. They don't have to do it if they chose not to. The volunteer will spend a little time with them, love on them and talk to them, because sometimes children will open up and share more with a stranger than they will with their parents," Karsevar said.
More than 100 volunteers will help put on the event, which will also include health and dental screenings, eye exams and haircuts. All will be provided at no cost to families.
"There are so many children - elementary school all the way through middle and high school - that have lost hope," Karsevar said. "They are just falling into depression for whatever reason. So many things are happening and they're losing hope."
On Aug. 12, families will show up and receive their items. In addition, the organization has received donations for family bags.
"There's household supplies bags that we've been able to put together for the families so that they can take home, because I learned that household supplies are not covered by food stamps. So they are struggling to get the basic needs - toilet paper, toothpaste, toothbrushes," Karsevar said. "They go to the children that really need it, because we have them pre-register with the Catholic Charities ahead of time so we know exactly how many children are going to be there, so we know exactly who really needs it."
Right now, Day of Hope is in need of volunteers and more donations to make sure every child in need has a successful school year.
Those who wish to donate to Day of Hope can do so via the group's GoFundMe page.
If you are interested in volunteering or dropping off donations for Day of Hope or rendering services, send an email to email@example.com.
For more information about Day of Hope, visit their Facebook page.