Charlottesville City Schools helps more than 200 families in need at R.E.N. event

Response to Essential Needs Event

CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (WVIR) - The parking lot of Charlottesville High School traded cars and trucks for volunteers and hundreds of donation items for families in need. Organizers at Charlottesville City School’s first-ever “Response to Essential Needs” event planned on helping 250 families get the items they need, but may not be able to afford.

“COVID-19 has really had people down on their luck where they don’t have access to the things they would normally have, so we’re just providing an avenue for them to have their basic needs taken care of," organizer Bianca Johnson said.

In partnership with the United Way of Greater Charlottesville, teachers and school board members made more than 200 goodie bags filled with clothes, personal care items and school supplies for families in need.

Johnson said it’s a way to make sure students and their families to feel taken care of by their school community.

“First hand we’ve kinda seen a little bit of everything. We have families that of course have access to things, and then we’re just another avenue for families who don’t have access to resources that are readily available," Johnson explained.

Families filled out forms detailing their clothing sizes and what personal care items they needed. They could then continue driving to get a free COVID-19 test from volunteers from the University of Virginia.

“Under-served families, that includes minority groups, African-American, Latinos and others have higher rates of COVID-19 nation-wide as well as in Virginia, so we’ve tried to do this safely and easily to do, for free," Dr. Max Luna of UVA Health said.

The help doesn’t stop after the event is over.

“We give you another option to call another number which we are collaborating with to provide food for two weeks, PPE, cleaning supplies for home, over the counter medications as needed, and if needed, local housing to self-isolate for two weeks, for free," Luna said.

The district said they’re hoping to have another donation event sometime during the winter.

Copyright 2020 WVIR. All rights reserved.