Serving Metropolitan Detroit Since 1944

Back Pack Giveaway Combined with Health Fair in Dearborn Heights

The non-profit organization EduCare4all combined a back to school backpack giveaway with a mini health fair in Dearborn Heights on Saturday, September 7. The free outdoor event was held at Med Rite Pharmacy on Van Born Road.

EduCare4all founder Hussein Hachem says the organization has been sponsoring the event, called the "We Got Your Back" Campaign, for the last four years. EduCare4all chooses three cities in the area to hold the event each fall, providing back to school supplies for local students. 400 back packs were donated to the campaign by Midwest Recycling. In previous years, the campaign has been held in Detroit, Redford, and Inkster, to name a few.

200 backpacks filled with school supplies were available to students on Saturday. Also available to the community at no cost were routine health checks. "So we wanted to basically do a free health fair, meaning you can come in today and get a free blood sugar checkup, free blood pressure checkup, BMI checkup, and medication reconciliation," says Hachem. He emphasized the importance of going over your prescription medications with a pharmacist to ensure, particularly if one is taking several medications, that there are no interactions among the various medications. "People could be overdosing without knowing," he adds.

The Dearborn Federation of Teachers donated new, age-appropriate books to go into the backpacks. Hussein Abdallah, owner of Med Rite Pharmacy, partnered with EduCare4all by donating goodie bags for attendees, providing the location, and paying for a hot dog vendor to be on hand to provide a free lunch to all. He also helped to organize the event, obtaining the services of a nurse, a nurse practitioner, and a registered pharmacist for the testing and medication assessment. "We care about the community, we want the best for our community," says Abdallah.

Over a dozen volunteers were on hand Saturday to help pass out school supplies and assist with the various medical tests. "It's all about the kids," says Hachem. "We always wanted to do something that gives back to kids and makes them feel excited about going back to school and what's better than doing this?"

Hachem says they do this campaign to help ease the burden on families who may be struggling financially. "We started this because we wanted to tell them, 'We got your back, you don't have to worry about getting a new backpack, or having to worry about getting supplies for your kids, we can help you with that.'" Hachem says that while to organization is made up mainly of Arab-Americans, their goal is to embrace everyone. "We want to live together and celebrate our diversity," he says.

In the next two weeks, EduCare4all will be distributing backpacks in Detroit at Cesar Chavez Academy, and at three public schools in Dearborn: Lowrey Middle School, Long Elementary, and Maples Elementary.

"This is for the whole community," says Hachem. "We are very happy and very honored to be part of this effort to give back to the community."

For more information on EduCare4all and its programs, see their website or call 313-258-6799


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