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ATHENS, Ala. (WHNT) — Organizers of the inaugural “Back 2 School Career Day” say that such an event will help build the Athens-Limestone Community where it’s needed most and sets the tone for the rest of the school year. The event was hosted at Athens’ Fitness Park on Saturday.

“With the pandemic and all that, and the prices, inflation is hitting. So people just don’t have the funds to purchase [many school supplies],” said co-organizer Lucita Jones of Limestone County NAACP‘s Labor & Industry Committee.

Jones said local businesses and municipal services also pitched in to drop off items at Saturday’s event, which was also promoted by Limestone County Schools which provided a school bus to advertise.

“We hope to form a relationship and let the community know that we’re here for them and we’re going to be here,” Jones said. “We’re not going anywhere. And we’re forming relationships with all parties within the community.”

One integral resource, Jones said, is Athens-Limestone County Public Library, which donated books and signup forms for its free year-long programs.

“As prices continue to rise and families are feeling a pinch, it’s just a wonderful opportunity to be able to go to the library where you can least cut come expenses,” ALCPL Director of Libraries Jen Baxter told News 19. “We have computers, we have printing, we have WiFi, we have faxing. So any sort of cost savings that families can have right now is beneficial.”

The event is also a chance for outreach from other causes like NAACP’s voter registration initiative, and local law enforcement.

“Anytime you can be around children it is positive,” Athens Police Chief Floyd Johnson said. “To [get] the positive interaction with law enforcement in the community is also a positive. I know most everybody here, and that’s really awesome to come out and know people and be able to talk to people.”