BECKLEY, W.Va. — A community outreach initiative this weekend in Raleigh County aims to make a lasting impact on southern West Virginia.

The 5th annual Beckley Day of Hope will take place Saturday at the Raleigh County Convention Center.

The event’s name can be misleading, event coordinator C.L. Wilkerson said on WJLS: The Voice of Beckley’s “Radio Roundtable.”

“We want to reach out to the people in Wyoming County, Mercer County, Summers County and Greenbrier County, Wilkerson said.  “Please come, because we’re going to have enough food to give you.”

The carnival-like atmosphere will include the distribution of nearly 35,000 pounds of food to families throughout southern West Virginia.  Other activities include free refreshments, a children’s carnival area, medical and dental assessments, free shoes for kids, children’s haircuts, family portraits and more.  Wilkerson said all food will be distributed, rain or shine to anyone who is in need.

“You could be doing your absolute best working, trying and striving and yet have a need.  If that’s the case, we want this day to help you.”

New to this year’s event is the addition of free transportation to and from the convention center.  Bus routes throughout the region will help those who wouldn’t otherwise have transportation.  A complete list of routes are available at beckleydayofhope.org.

Nearly 3,000 are anticipated to take part in the festivities.  Another goal for the event is to distribute 1,500 pairs of shoes to children.  Free haircuts will also be provided for children.  Wilkerson says the experience is heartwarming.

“We have videos of kids just glowing…they’re so delighted to have these shoes it just warms your heart.  I guarantee you will have more fun that day loving people and giving wonderful goods and services away.”

The Day of Hope is Saturday, August 19, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.  It will be at the Raleigh County Convention Center at 200 Armory Drive, Beckley.  For more information about Beckley Day of Hope and how to volunteer, visit beckleydayofhope.org.

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