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Kids' Fair 2019 is just around the corner

School may be out for the summer, but preparations for the 2019-20 school year are already underway.

Including for the annual Project Hope event, also known as the Kids’ Fair, which takes place at the end of the summer just before students and staff head back to school.

The event, which provides local students with new shoes, backpacks, a meal, haircuts, dental screenings and other goods and services, all for free, has taken place throughout the Eugene-Springfield area for about seven years.

But it’s not all about school year preparations – it’s fun, too! With bounce houses, food and games to play, students and their families are invited to enjoy the afternoon with fellow students and friends at the Kids’ Fair. This year, vaccinations, wellness check-ups, physicals and dental screenings will also be provided.

What began as a community event mostly organized by a group of local churches has since grown to include dozens of local organizations and more than 60 churches that work together to provide more than 3,200 backpacks full of school supplies, 3,800 pairs of shoes, 3,200 pairs of socks and so much more to area students.

Area churches fundraise for the backpacks and school supplies, shoes are purchased through grant funds, and local organizations such as Springfield Family Physicians donate their time, while local restaurants donate food.

The Kids’ Fair takes place at five different locations in Eugene, Springfield and Junction City on August 25th. A total of 1,100 tickets are given to Springfield district students by school principals and other district staff in advance of the fair. 

The day before the fair, church groups also head out to local schools to help complete any beautification or projects that need to be finished before school begins for the year. Usually those projects include things like pulling weeds, painting trim, cleaning up classrooms or doing other yardwork. Churches work with principals to determine where their help can be used.

Scott Chase, a pastor at One Hope Church, which initially came up with the idea to host the event, said the fair is “all about community.”

 “Anything that helps prepare for the school year so that the teacher feel proud to be there and that the students can walk into school with new supplies and a new haircut, new shoes – we just want to help them feel confident and empowered about getting back to school,” he said.

Chase said that it’s also just important to show up for the community.

“We just want to show that we’re here for the community and we want to love in the community with no strings attached,” he said. “We’re proud to be partners and we want this to be a community event."

To learn more about the event, how to get involved or how to get tickets, visit onehopenetwork.org/project-hope

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