QUINCY -- Maxine Bassett says she's happy the annual Back to School Help Fair will continue to provide some of what young people need to start the school year.
A scaled-back version of the fair, due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, will take place from 8 to 11 a.m. Saturday, Aug. 8, at Iles Elementary School, 3111 N. 12th.
Bookbags filled with school supplies will be available on a "first come, first serve" basis during the drive-through fair. Physicals will be offered at SIU Center for Family Medicine, 612 N. 11th. Appointments are available by calling 217-224-9484.
"We thank the Lord we're able to do this part of the Back to School Help Fair. It's a blessing with this disease going on," said Bassett, a longtime organizer of the fair usually held at First Baptist Church. "The bookbags are very important. Our bags are almost complete to what they need in school."
Bassett said volunteers play a key role in the fair's ongoing success from churches across the community that provide backpacks and school supplies to people lending a hand in other ways.
"It's a blessing that we've been going on 23 years, I think, with the same partners. If I don't contact them, they will contact me," Bassett said.
More volunteers turn out to help the day of the fair.
"We'll have plenty of runners to meet their needs, so it should go really, really fast," Bassett said. "Hopefully next year it gets back to church."