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Helping the Richmond community, one backpack at a time

on September 26, 2019

Change 4 FiveHundred hosted their third annual backpack giveaway in collaboration with Ya-NEEMA Healing Circle & Supportive Services at Shields Reid Community Center in North Richmond on September 22.

The group served pizza and distributed school supplies inside about 120 backpacks at the Sunday gathering. Local families and children enjoyed a live DJ, prizes, games, bike rodeo, storytelling and information about community services and resources. 

Marcus Byrd-Ray founded Change 4 FiveHundred in 2017 in an attempt to transform the culture of violence in North Richmond by mentoring, inspiring and giving back to the community. Y-NEEMA is a support group for people affected by gun violence, according to its Facebook page.

“Change 4 FiveHundred came from me thinking outside the box and wanting more for my community,” said Byrd-Ray. The Change 4 FiveHundred event was a way “to represent something greater in the community,” he added. 

MzDee Joseph-Stewart and Marcus Byrd-Ray announcing raffle ticket winners at the Change 4 FiveHundred’s third annual backpack giveaway.
Fire Station 62 Captain Anthony Woodards playing basketball at the Change 4 FiveHundred’s third annual backpack giveaway.
Founder of the Let Me Be Great Foundation Lawreece Cox reads to a group of children about disabilities at the Change 4 FiveHundred’s third annual backpack giveaway.
MzDee Joseph-Stewart standing next to raffle prizes at the Change 4 FiveHundred’s third annual backpack giveaway.
School supplies were stuffed inside about 120 backpacks at the Sunday gathering at the Change 4 FiveHundred’s third annual backpack giveaway.
School supplies were stuffed inside about 120 backpacks at the Sunday gathering at the Change 4 FiveHundred’s third annual backpack giveaway.
Volunteers Janice and Eren prepare backpacks for Change 4 FiveHundred’s third annual backpack giveaway.
DJ Gary at the Change 4 FiveHundred’s third annual backpack giveaway.
MzDee Joseph-Stewart And Marcus Byrd-Ray passing out backpacks at the Change 4 FiveHundred’s third annual backpack giveaway.
MzDee Joseph-Stewart And Marcus Byrd-Ray passing out backpacks at the Change 4 FiveHundred’s third annual backpack giveaway.
Marcus Byrd-Ray opening a trailer with backpacks at the Change 4 FiveHundred’s third annual backpack giveaway.

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