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Donating supplies teaches kids a valuable lesson and keeps a local legacy alive.

Summer is in its final stretch. Whether school has just started or you’re savoring these precious final weeks of vacation, there is something special about the countdown to fall and the back-to-school vibe.

That vibe makes August a perfect month for setting the tone for the upcoming academic year. 

As a kid, I remember juggling the nerves and excitement of the approaching new school year. My favorite part was school-supply shopping for the perfect backpack, lunch box and Trapper Keeper. 

Why not turn your school supply shopping in to a teaching experience? 

Take advantage of this weekend’s and have your child pick out a few extra supplies to donate.  

The Lenny Harris Legacy Corporation will be collecting backpacks and supplies for local school children in need. Formerly known as Operation H.O.P.E., the Alexandria-based community outreach organization was founded by Lenny Harris, who was slain last fall. The supplies can be dropped off at the Mt. Vernon Avenue branch of  or be brought to the . 

This free festival will be held on Aug. 18 from noon to 6 p.m. on the recreation field between and the Braddock Road Metro Station.

It will feature moon bounces, face painting and activities for children, as well as live music, poetry reading, comedy and a DJ. 

Personally, I hope the whole city shows up for this festival.

Donating school supplies provides a rare and easily-understood way for young kids to give back to the community. This teaches kids about selflessness and community participation.

But also, Harris was a guy who saw a problem in our community and came up with a way to improve the situation. I respect that.

Sadly, his life came to a brutal end last year when he was shot and killed during a robbery. 

This supply-drive and festival are symbols that violence didn’t win, and that Harris’ mission to serve and improve our community lives on. 

Finally, Harris was a long-time Del Ray resident. Going to this festival is a way to show his wife Deborah and daughter Myia that they have our support, and that they aren’t forgotten.

This year, as we prepare to send our kids back to school, lets teach them a little about charity and activism. 

See you at the moon bounce!

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