5th Annual Team Esmer Backpack Giveaway gets local kids ready for school

News

FRESNO, California.- On Saturday, the Fresno Fire Department, Fresno Police Department and local businesses gave away free clothes, backpacks, school supplies and haircuts in preparation for school next week.

Team Esmer’s Backpack Giveaway started five years ago by Esmeralda Delgado as a way to boost kids confidence.

“So they don’t feel like less than or they don’t have what the other children have,” said Delgado. “So they go in with confidence on the first day of school to help them have a successful year.”

Fresno Firefighter Carlton Jones has been helping with the event for three years by giving kids free haircuts. Jones chooses to help because he relates to these little boys and girls.

“A lot of the things I had was because someone was willing to help,” said Jones. “My grandmother who raised us. So not that I am blessed in a position to give back and do the same thing? It is like an automatic. It is what you do.”

The extra help doesn’t go unnoticed.

“It is a big help,” said mother CC Paterson. “Coming up on school, supplies get so expensive and you might not be able to catch a sale. At least you are able to come to community events like this and get backpacks.”

The organization was not sure how many backpacks were given away this year but in 2018 over 600 were picked up.

This was the first year the event was held at the Boys and Girls Club.

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