SYRACUSE N.Y.(NCC News)– A non-profit organization that impacts the lives of thousands of children all started when a woman saw a problem happening in her community and family.
Mary Nelson had a nephew who was shot while he was out trying to raise money for college. In that moment she decided that no child should be in a situation where they did not have the resources to succeed in the classroom. That inspired the birth of The Mary Nelson Youth Center.
“Seeing I am able to put a smile on a kids face,” Nelson said is her motivation.
The center offers activities for children and adults. Along with providing meals, household items and connecting people with a variety of services.
The non-profit organization is mostly known for their annual Back-To-School Supply Giveaway. The event gives students from all over the state a free backpack filled with school supplies. Last year over 10,000 students walked away with arms full of school supplies. This provides them with the opportunity to go into the school year prepared with the resources they will need in the classroom.
This year’s Back-To-School Supply Giveaway will be held on August 19 from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. on the corner of South Salina Street and Wood Avenue. The event will also provide live entertainment, local food, a game area and vendors.
To either register or donate to the Back-To-School Supple Giveaway go to marynelsonyouthcenter.com.
The biggest need for this upcoming event are backpacks for young children ranging from kindergartner to third grade.
“That is all I want. I want others to see what we are doing here right and take it and run with it and do the same thing,” said Nelson.
Nelson’s goal is to not only host events that positively impact the lives of others, but to also provide inspiration for people to take these ideas and bring it back to their own communities.