Almost Back in Session: Drives, giveaways around Oxford ahead of first day of school

Published 4:36 pm Friday, July 29, 2022

Organizations are helping families get ready for the upcoming school year with drives and giveaways around town.

Headlining the drives and giveaways today is the Pack the Patrol Car event, a collaboration between the Lafayette County Sheriff’s Department and Oxford Police Department, at Oxford’s Walmart.

Officers from both departments and volunteers from the Oxford Chargerette Dance team are collecting school supplies from 4 to 7 p.m. Friday to benefit students and teachers at Lafayette County and Oxford Schools. The supply drive is taking donations of school supplies like pencils, paper, crayons and calculators as well as cleaning supplies such as paper towels, hand sanitizers, and Clorox wipes.

“It kind of started out as competition with us and OPD to see who could collect the most, which we always win,” said LCSD Major Alan Wilburn with a laugh. “But it goes to Oxford and Lafayette Schools for people and kids that need a little bit of help, so it’s really, really great.”

Oxford Deputy Chief Sheridan Maiden said as law enforcement officers, it’s their duty to serve the public and the school supply is just of the ways they be good public stewards.

“The community has really been very supportive in this,” said Oxford Deputy Chief Sheridan Maiden. “In the years that we’ve done this, we’ve gotten overwhelming support from the city, and people just coming in. I mean, we’ve had people donate supplies, we’ve had people go and buy stuff come back and ask what we want.”

As officers accept donations at Walmart, across town two other drives took place at the Oxford Housing Authority office.

Another OPD-affiliated drive took place out on the OHA patio. Officers gave away snow cones and backpacks filled with pens, pencils and notebooks.

Bramlett Elementary SRO Corporal Art Watts said the Snow Cone and Backpack giveaway is a good way for officers and SROs to meet the children they will be serving.

“We all we know them already but just it’s just a good thing to get back to the community as much as we can and give whatever we can,” said Watts.

Just a few yards away, sisters Angelica and Alexandria McKinney of Giveaway to Your Neighbor Incorporation finished up their third and last day of free clothing giveaways to individuals and families in need.

Giveaway to Your Neighborhood, Inc. hosts free clothes giveaways year-round like in September, in November for Thanksgiving and December for Christmas. This time the McKinney’s held a three-day giveaway right before the start of school.

“The drives are very important because there’s a lot of people out here right now going through difficult times,” said Angelica McKinney. “A lot of people are struggling and some people are not telling their story and it needs to be heard.”

Angelica said it is important for people to reach out and help nonprofits so that the organizations themselves can help more people.

“It’s time for us to give back,” she said. “It’s time for us all to make a difference and stop being selfish, and for us to get along and start doing it together.”