Adopt-a-block provides backpacks, family fun

10 years ago

HOULTON, Maine — More than 200 children will head to school this fall with a new backpack filled with school supplies, thanks to the efforts by the community.

Adopt-a-Block of Aroostook held its sixth annual “Back to School Block Party” at the Military Street Baptist Church Saturday and the turnout was greater than ever with about 700 people participating in the event. That number is up from about 500 people a year ago, according to Tammie Goetsch, one of the coordinators.
“Every year, it just keeps getting better,” Goetsch said. “The goal is to provide an event that families can go to and spend the day without spending a lot of money.”
The backpacks were filled with school supplies and donated by members of Military Street Baptist, Houlton Wesleyan, Houlton United Methodist and Hodgdon United Baptist churches as well as numerous businesses that partner with Adopt-a-Block.
In addition to backpacks, a barbecue lunch, bounce houses, face painting, dunk tank, popcorn from Bangor Savings Bank, ice cream from Houlton Farms Dairy, watermelon from Andy’s IGA and food from County Yankee Grocery as well as two bicycles were drawn courtesy of Walmart. Many prizes were also given away.
Also, three local hairdressers gave back-to-school haircuts to more than 20 children and more than 100 families were able to pick up free clothing items.
The event has evolved over the years from originally being an event for underprivileged families to get a new backpack, school supplies and clothing, to more of a family-oriented fun festival.
“The goal of Adopt-a-Block of Aroostook is to meet the needs of our community by partnering with local agencies,” Goetsch said. “These needs may range from physical needs such as food, furniture, and clothing, to more non-tangible needs such as a friendly face, in-home support, and care. Find a need and fill it … find a hurt and heal it.”