Local organizations team up to host Back-To-School Giveaway

Published 3:00 pm Saturday, August 5, 2023

NILES — A group of local organizations teamed up Friday to support the education of students in the community.

Helping Our People Evolve (H.O.P.E.), Niles Neighbors, Primitiv Givs and We-ECHO Youth Services hosted a Back-To-School Giveaway event Friday afternoon. More than 200 backpacks and school supplies were handed out to students, with the City of Niles Fire Department bringing a hose to help children beat the heat. Volunteers for each organization were also onn hhand to share resources with community members.

“It was a great event,” said WEYS founder KC Johnson, who created WEYS as a means to give back to the community and to make a positive impact on the local youth. “We brought some of our kids out here and passed out the bags and a lot of kids, parents and families showed up. It was a great day.”

H.O.P.E. seeks to positively affect people individually through advancements in education, spirituality and civic affairs. Board member Brian Crespo was encouraged by the turnout.

“This is why we do it,” Crespo said. “This is just one of the demographics we serve; we try to focus on children, the elderly and the disabled – those who can’t help themselves. There’s eight members on our board and we each have our own passion. One may be veterans and another senior citizens and myself are the kids, so events like this are awesome.”

Primitiv co-owner and Former NFL player Rob Sims was on hand to take photos with children and community members. His nonprofit, Primitiv Givs, used a supply drive to collect the backpacks and supplies  that were distributed to children Friday.

“When we first got to Niles, Primitiv Givs, our philanthropic arm had just been started,” Sims said. “Our mission is to change the stigma of cannabis and what it is. If a company that has been as good as we have isn’t able to give back to the community, I really don’t want to be in business. It’s been great because this is our first one geared towards kids and I think it went well, the team showed well and we’re looking forward to doing more of that as we go.”