The staff of Guy & Allen Funeral Directors

August is time for school supply giveaways

Contributed By:The 411 News

Businesses step up to help families get ready for start of school

Nothing signals the start of school more than the school supply giveaways of August. They come from a realization that many families need help getting their children ready for school and are responses to do something about it.

It’s a time of year of mixed feelings for the families. They welcome the start of school, but not the expenses of new clothing, fees and tuition. And then, there are the school supplies.

Sunday, Guy & Allen Funeral Directors, in Gary, put aside their annual picnic to hold a school supply giveaway.

Many parents don’t have the means and just can’t afford them, said director Patrician Owens-Lee, also the cotton candy maker for the day. “We started it to honor the memory of Sa’Riyah Barker who died of cancer. She was the daughter of our secretary Carmelita Cook and she loved school.”

“Students are buying books, notepads; some even have to bring toilet paper and hand sanitizer,” Owens-Lee said.

Guy & Allen’s Back To School Giveaway didn’t stop at bookbags filled with school supplies. Owens-Lee said the foods and drinks, a deejay, a bounce house, and a game bus are the funeral home’s ways of giving back to the community.

Four school supply giveaways this weekend, with 3 on Saturday, August 11 will provide bonanzas for families, as most schools in Gary will open their doors on Monday.

On Saturday, the granddaddy of giveaways is the School Supply Giveaway of Gary. Ben and Sharon Tyler of AAble 2 Stow It UHaul started it all in 2002 with help from their church members at St. Augustine Episcopal Church. Ninety students were helped that year.

Now they are copied all over the city.

Planning is almost year round to accommodate the thousands of families that pass through the gates of the business at 855 Taft on giveaway day. Last week, the assembly line was fully manned packaging age-appropriate school supplies for students in kindergarten through college.

Along with bookbags and school supplies on Saturday, SSGA will offer hot dog lunches and beverages, free haircuts, and gently used school uniforms. The giveaway is 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

The City of Gary and its partners will hold their Back 2 School Health Fair and Give-a-way at the RailCats Baseball Stadium, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

The Back 2 School event is open to Gary students, grades K-12. Students will have an opportunity to receive health related services such as immunizations, physicals (limited) and dental screenings. Parents should bring shot records, school physical forms.

School uniforms have been added this year. Pre-registration is required to receive uniforms. Parents may visit

Fresh County Market’s school supply giveaway at 25th Avenue and Arthur will be held from noon to 3 p.m.

On Sunday, August 12, MIC Check Records, 11th & Washington, Gary, will hold a school supply giveaway from noon to 5 p.m.

Boys show off their new bookbags

The family of Sa’Riyah Barker

The staff of Guy & Allen Funeral Directors

Inside the Dappers Game Zone Bus

Story Posted:08/07/2018

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