Thousands of Anchorage children are better prepared to start the school year thanks to an annual event called Helping Us Give School Supplies (HUGSS). Organizers said they served about 150 families an hour at the Sullivan arena on Wednesday, but lines moved well and things were orderly.
Moms, dads and their children left with new backpacks, notebooks and other school supplies, most of them donated by local merchants. Alan Budahl with Lutheran Social Services said some arrived as early as 1 a.m. for the event, just to be sure they’d be first in line.
“They are so thankful to have this because otherwise they might not be able to have any school supplies to start the school year with,” Budahl said. “The smiles on the kids’ faces is what it’s all about.”
Earlier in the day, Budahl estimated they would hand out supplies for more than 6,000 students.
It appears they met that goal. Budahl said the event wouldn’t have happened without the hundreds of people who volunteered their time.