The 2023 Back to School Blast is Aug. 5 at Marble Falls Middle School, 1511 Pony Drive. File photo
Nearly 1,200 backpacks filled with school supplies will be given away at the annual Back to School Blast from 8-11 a.m. Saturday, Aug. 5, at Marble Falls Middle School, 1511 Pony Drive.
Kids will have access to free shoes, socks, haircuts, and eye exams to further prepare them for the new academic year, which begins Aug. 17 in the Marble Falls school district, Aug. 16 for Burnet school district students, and Aug. 8 for the Llano district.
“We understand the cost of school supplies and that inflation hasn’t helped,” said Jonathan Sultemeier, president of the nonprofit that organizes the event. “The average parent spends $150 per kid on school supplies alone. That’s before backpacks and shoes and socks and nice new clothes and everything you typically get for kids before the beginning of the school year.”
All area students are welcome to take part in the event and receive supplies and services, regardless of which school district they attend.
“We don’t check where you’re coming from,” Sultemeier said. “We just want to bless the kids in our community.”
He believes the event is bigger than free stuff.
“It’s more than just supplies,” he said. “There’s good people there that want to get to know you and love on you. … If you need help with anything, we’re there to help.”
Fundraising for the event has gone well, Sultemeier said.
“We’ve introduced an individual level of sponsorships, so people can go online and donate on our site,” he said. “They can give an individual what we call a backpack-level sponsor, which is 30 bucks. We’ve had great success with that.”
Started by Lake Shores Church in 2011, the event has grown over the years to include a six-member board made up of members from the community.
“It’s a culmination of a bunch of churches and organizations in the community coming together to help kids have a successful start to the school year,” Sultemeier said.
Interested volunteers are encouraged to sign up online.