Photo by Heather Middleton
By Jeylin White
For the fourth year in a row, Chick-fil-A and Truett's Grill restaurants are sponsoring a back-to-school, school-supplies drive to benefit Clayton County children.
According to Chick-fil-A of Jonesboro Store Manager Jeffrey Mceachern, the collection initiative kicked off Monday, and will run through Aug. 5.
A back-to-school bash will culminate the drive, said Ali Rice, the marketing director for Truett's Grill in Morrow. The bash will be held on Aug. 6, from 11 a.m., to, 2 p.m., at the First Baptist Church of Jonesboro.
Mceachern said the drive gets better every year, despite the economic downturn of recent years. He added that, so far, the drive is off to a good start. He has already had more than 40 people come into the Jonesboro location and donate supplies.
Last year, Randy Burgess, who is the general manger of the Truett's Grill of Morrow, said the community donated enough supplies to fill 150 medium size paper boxes. This year, Mceachern said, he has confidence the effort will experience even greater success.
"We believe -- fast food aside -- family is first," Mceachern said. "We want to be a stepping stone for [young peoples'] education."
Mceachern added that educational success is essential in the development of a young person's character, and to the process of becoming a successful adult. A major reason why Chick-fil-A hosts the back-to-school-drive, he said, is to show the community the organization really values education.
According to Mceachern, people who donate school supplies at any of the Chick-fil-A or Truett's Grill restaurants in Clayton County, will receive a free Chick-fil-A sandwich. However, he said, the offer is limited to one, per person.
Eligible items for the promotion include:
* A pack of college or wide-ruled paper.
* A pack of 8-and-half-by-11, spiral-bound notebooks.
* A pack of 12, number two pencils.
* A three-ring binder notebook.
* A composition notebook (for teachers).
* A pack of EXPO, dry-erase makers (for teachers).
Rice said the supplies will be handed out during the bash, to students who attend Clayton County's public schools. She added that the Delta Community Credit Union will also be giving away 1,500 book bags, filled with school supplies.
The bash will feature representatives of the National Basketball Association's Atlanta Hawks, along with the team's mascot, Harry, the Hawk, who will hand out freebies. Representatives of Major League Baseball's Atlanta Braves will also be there, according to Rice.
She said several business and government organizations will participate, including: Home Depot, Best Buy, Target, the Clayton County Sheriff's Office, Amri Group, and Bargain Brooks.
Rice said food items from the Chick-fil-A menu will be sold during the event, and the money collected will be donated to Clayton County Public Schools, to help fund scholarship programs.
During last year's bash, according to Rice, nearly 3,000 people came out to support the event. She said she believes there will be an even greater turnout this year.