By Ricky Richardson, Contributing Writer

This event held on 8/24 KOBE DAY! featured free backpacks filled with tons of school supplies for kids in 1st-8th grade. Students had to be present in the car with their parents or guardians to receive a backpack. Los Angelitos Bakery in Huntington Park sweetened the deal, donating conchas decorated with Los Angeles Lakers colors.3rd Annual Back 2 School Giveaway-Kobe Day!

Hawthorne- Summer is winding down. That can mean one thing, back to school for students. Some students returned to campus for in-person learning, while others opted to keep learning remotely.

Hundreds of kids in Hawthorne are off to a good start on their educational journey. Thanks to Impact LA as they teamed up with Calvary Baptist Church, Hawthorne, under the Pastoral leadership of Dr. Hosea Collins, Big Sunday, and East Side Bike Club to present the 3rd Annual Back 2 School Giveaway event, from 4:30pm-6:45pm in the parking lot. Chicas Verdes donated two laptops that were raffled and gifted to two lucky kids who received a backpack during the event. 

Emerita Flores and Courtney Lockridge, co-founders of Impact LA. (Photo by Ricky Richardson)

Emerita Flores and Courtney Lockridge, Co-founders of Impact LA stated “our backpack giveaways is one of the highlights of our summer. It’s our chance to see our hard working volunteers and neighbors, engaging with the community, and help as many families as possible.”

Courtney Lockridge (4th from left and Emerita Flores (4th from right) co-founders of Impact LA and Calvary Baptist Church, Hawthorne Volunteers. (Photo by Ricky Richardson)

I had the honor of witnessing the priceless smiles of joy, appreciation and excitement as various kids and teens were handed a backpack according to their age. 

You might be wondering, why Kobe Day? According a statement on Impact LA’s website. Kobe’s success was ultimately driven by his unmatched work ethic and commitment not only to himself, but to those around him. The Black Mamba moniker he gave himself, fit like a custom suit. His impact to both on and off the basketball court is immeasurable. We are grateful. We will miss him. Undeniably, no matter who you are or what Kobe meant to you, we are grateful to be able to host this event for the third year. We will hold it every year on 8/24 and we pride ourselves on making it bigger and better every year. #mambamentality.

Monday, August 23rd was Kobe’s birthday. He would have been 43 years old. Social media was buzzing with loving thoughts and birthday wishes for Kobe from his Los Angeles Lakers teammates, NBA players and fans.

Calvary Baptist Church, Hawthorne volunteers handed out backpacks. (Photo by Ricky Richardson)

Impact LA, Calvary Baptist Church, Hawthorne, Big Sunday, Chicas Verdes and East Side Bike Club are wonderful institutions or non-profit organizations working to create positive changes in Los Angeles. Feel free to reach out to them if you can assist them in their mission.