LYNCHBURG, Va. (WFXR) — With the start of the school year around the corner, Black Suit Initiative collaborated with members of the Lynchburg community by holding a back-to-school supply drive on Saturday.

Pastor Owen Cardwell of the Diamond Hill Baptist Church — where the event took place on Saturday, July 30 — says events like this can have a huge impact in the community.

“There are families that can’t afford all of the costs of going back to school,” said Cardwell. “This is just a small thing that we can do to bring down the expenses for families that can’t afford it.”

The backpacks were provided by the Black Suit Initiative, a leadership and community program for middle and high school boys. The program was founded by The Sparrow’s Nest, Inc., which aims to prevent crime and prepares youth for their futures with character-building and leadership opportunities.

Black Suit Initiative ambassadors were at the event on Saturady to talk more about the importance of giving back to the community.

“Help someone in need for those who don’t have a bookbag or supplies like this, and so we just want to give back to the community,” said Black Suit Initiative ambassador Benjamin.

Each backpack contained school supplies such as notebooks, folders, and writing utensils. Some of the backpacks were also taken to a local living community in Lynchburg so that people who were not able to attend the event had access to supplies.

In addition to giving back to the community, many people, like Makaysha Oniya Galloway, tell WFXR News the goal of the event was to have fun with games, music, and snow cones to help beat the heat.

“I’m out here having fun, playing with my friends, and throwing water balloons,” said Galloway.

To learn more about the Black Suit Initiative or how you can help donate a backpack for a student in need, you can visit the program’s website.