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Here’s How Hundreds of Alexandria Kids Got Free Backpacks and School Supplies Over the Weekend

Former Alexandria City Councilman Willie Bailey has done it again. Over the weekend, Bailey and a large collection of supporting organizations, groups and volunteers gave out more than 800 backpacks full of school supplies and thousands of books, with ice cream on the side.

Bailey, a deputy fire chief for the Fairfax County Fire and Rescue Department, was raised in Alexandria and says he’s just paying it forward.

“I’m just making sure these kids are able to succeed and do good and give back to society when they get old,” Bailey told ALXnow. “And that they remember what someone once did for them. That’s all.”

The distributions took place at Charles Houston Recreation Center on Saturday and outside T.C. Williams High School on Sunday.

Bailey was joined by representatives from the Alexandria Police and Fire Departments, Alexandria Redevelopment and Housing Authority, the Sheriff’s office and the Departmental Progressive Club. The Alexandria nonprofit InspireLit was also on-hand and provided thousands of books for kids to take home.

ARHA representative Daynelle Diaz said that the supplies will have a major impact.

“We’ve had a lot of families that have either lost work or haven’t been able to work,” she said. “With no money coming in, this is a big relief, because even though kids are going to be online for school, they’re still going to need supplies. This is a great weight off their shoulders.”

City Councilman Canek Aguirre volunteered at the event and praised Bailey.

“My hat goes off to Willie Bailey,” he said. “Just because of the pandemic, and he doesn’t stop and he’s here to help fill an important need. We’re greatly appreciative to him for everything that he does for the city.”

Bailey also said that his annual coat drive is still happening this fall.

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