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Backpacks for children, relief for parents

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Backpacks for children, relief for parents

In a crowd of hundreds, Jose Hueliti stood out. Every time he walked from one information table to another, his wife Isabel, 8-year-old son Christopher, 7-year-old son Raymond, 5-year-old daughter Isabela, 4-year-old son Humberto, 3-year-old son Sebastian and the baby of the family, 2-year-old Samuel, followed closely behind him. It was like watching ducklings follow their mother only, in this case, some of the little ones held hands while following their father and they smiled every time they got a free gift.

The Hueliti family was one of hundreds who showed up early at the Harlandale High School cafeteria for the 9th Annual Mancha, SUAVE & Friends Back-to-School Backpack Giveaway on Saturday, August 4. In an earlier interview, Juan Mancha explained why he started the event.

“When I went to school one year, we couldn’t afford school supplies and the teacher made fun of me because of it. I made a promise that if I was able to afford to help other children with school supplies when I grew up, I would.”

He’s done just that. Every school-aged child received a backpack full of school supplies while their parents were fed information about after school programs, health services and insurance. Even at those information tables, kids had a little fun too, getting blow-up beach balls, sticky hands and stickers. By mid-morning, more than 800 people had stopped by. Many also took advantage of the free dental care being offered by Tooth Time Community Outreach.

For the Hueliti family, the entire event was a Godsend especially since Mrs. Hueliti doesn’t work and Mr. Hueliti does odd jobs to get by. “Nos ayudo mucho (It helped us so much),” said Mrs. Hueliti.

To read more about the backpack giveaway event, click here.