Horry County family honoring shooting victim with backpack giveaway

Published: Aug. 8, 2021 at 10:36 AM EDT
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HORRY COUNTY, S.C. (WMBF) - Two Horry County parents are honoring the loss of their son by helping other children in the area prepare for school.

The family of Eliajah La’Mont Samuel will hold a backpack drive next Saturday. Samuel, 26, was killed at an apartment complex in Carolina Forest last December.

His parents, Shawn and Nettie Lewis, are hosting the event just before the school year begins for Horry County Schools on Aug. 17. They’re hoping to give away 300 backpacks full of supplies for families.

While some of the items were received through donations, Shawn and Nettie say they purchased most of them out of their own pockets, saying it was their way of doing something they know Eliajah would’ve wanted them to do.

They also want to use their grief to help others in the community who need it.

“Our family still got a lot of sadness,” Shawn said. “I want to see a bunch of smiles on everybody’s faces. It’s a lot of kids still lacking and if we can help somebody, then hey it will be good.”

The event is billed as the first-annual “Foolie Fest,” named after Eliajah’s nickname.

“We want to continue to give back because Eliajah was a generous person,” Nettie added. “So we want to keep doing that in his honor every year.”

The giveaway will take place on Aug. 14 from 4-9 p.m. at the ball field off Highway 65 in Conway.

The event will feature live music, other giveaways, free food and activities for children.

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