WHITLEY COUNTY -- The B Squad, a nonprofit organization that helps serve children and families in Whitley County, has been working hard this summer gearing up for its back-to-school event called "Swag Sister."

The organization, which formed not even a year ago, has the vision to provide support to students and families who are most at-risk, to give students an emotional boost, to assist in their nutritional struggles and to give families baskets of hope of basic hygiene items for their household.

The members' mission is to educate at-risk youth, offering them the expanded advantages and the same opportunities as anyone else.

The B Squad's back-to-school event is scheduled for Sunday, Aug. 4, starting at 6 p.m. Students selected by the school's family resource center will have a red carpet waiting for them. They will have their own shopping assistant as they pick out their back-to-school "swag."

Shannon Barman, president of the organization, said the event is similar to a Shop with a Cop experience.

They are also hoping to give away baskets filled with hygienic products.

"That way we can help make sure their first month of school is successful and they don't have to worry about these items," said Barman. Household items are one of the things that families often have a hard time getting, according to Barman who said there are various programs that help fund food but not these items.

There are several drop-off locations around the Tri-County for the household and toiletry items including JCPenney, The Store in Williamsburg and Cash Express in Williamsburg.

The B Squad held several fundraising events in June including bake sales and inflatable activities, and July's calendar is jam-packed with opportunities to help support the cause.

Upcoming events include karaoke at Muddy Boy Records from 7 p.m. to midnight on July 11, and a carnival before the TSW event on July 20.

Hampton Inn in Williamsburg is offering a waffle bar from 2 to 6 p.m. on July 8 for $10 and all of the proceeds go towards the back-to-school event.

The B Squad will also be at The Kentucky Crusaders Picnic in Briar Creek Park on July 20. Barman will be a guest speaker there informing attendees how she became so passionate about the children in Whitley County.

For more information on the B Squad or how to help, see its website thebsquadproject.com or find them on social media.

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