Backpack Buddies expecting to help over 3,000 Horry Co. students this year

Published: Aug. 14, 2023 at 6:41 PM EDT|Updated: Aug. 14, 2023 at 8:50 PM EDT
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HORRY COUNTY, S.C. (WMBF) - Volunteers at Help 4 Kids, also known as Backpack Buddies, said the number of students in need of food and supplies in Horry County is only increasing.

The organization has more than 100 volunteers, and they said they need every single one.

“Last school year, we provided food and clothing and supplies and Christmas for 2900 plus kids in Horry County, this year we anticipate over three thousand,” said volunteer Karen Madert.

Volunteer Larry Rigo has been with Help 4 Kids for two years.

“To me, a hungry child, that’s unacceptable,” said Rigo.

And even in the time he’s been here, Rigo said he’s seen an increase in need in the community.

“It used to be 2,800 when I started, so unfortunately, it is going up,” said Rigo.

But, he said thankfully, people who can help have stepped up. Community member Matt Lillich donated snacks and school supplies. He said he’s donated food to Help 4 Kids before, and he supports the organization.

“This year, we wanted to help more and make sure we got in some school supplies this year before the start of the school year,” said Lillich.

Madert said over the summer, volunteers have been driving out to neighborhoods and dropping off food for families in need. And even after the back-to-school rush is over, volunteers have plenty to do throughout the year, including collecting donations for Easter and Christmas.

“It never stops,” said Madert.

To donate, or learn more about Help 4 Kids, visit their website. For more back-to-school information, visit the WMBF Back-to-School page.