MULLINS, S.C. – More than 300 members of the Most Worshipful Prince Hall Grand Lodge of the State of South Carolina converged on Aug. 10 in Mullins in volunteer support of a back-to-school project that reached hundreds of people.
The lodge sponsored a Backpack & Supplies Giveaway event at Mullins High School, distributing more than 1,000 backpacks along with school supplies, and it fed more than 450 families.
Organizer Tarus Gilchrist said it was a group effort in regard to supplies. Linda Neal of the Prince Hall Grand Chapter of the Order of the Eastern Stars, Leon Sturkey of the Everbee Lodge and the 8th Masonic District contributed. Most Worshipful Prince Hall Grand Lodge of the State of South Carolina purchased the backpacks.
“We gave away a total of 538 bags of food and 1,000 backpacks,” Gilchrist said. “We had support from people all over the state. I had people from Greenville, Spartanburg, Charleston and Beaufort show up just to pack bags and get stuff ready.”
State President of Prince Hall Grand Lodge Spencer Scott also attended.
Gilchrist said the response was tremendous.
“The first person was in line at 7:45 a.m. and we didn’t start giving out backpacks until 10 a.m.,” he said. “When we started, it was more than 500 people in line.”
The line of people stretched from the library at the front of the school all the way through the hallway out the backdoor out into the parking lot.
Gilchrist serves as the District Deputy of the 8th Masonic District. He said next year, the organization hopes to make the event even bigger.