Raleigh Dream Center gives backpacks and school supplies to children in need

RALEIGH, N.C. (WTVD) -- Basketball's the sport of choice in many communities, and Raleigh's Millbank apartment complex is no exception.

That's where we saw dozens of laughing kids and adults, passing and shooting with joy as summer vacation winds down.

The adults who don't live there are staff and volunteers for the Raleigh Dream Center, described by organizers as "a Christian-based organization providing social services and community programs to homeless, abused and impoverished high-risk youth, individuals and families." Their Outreach ministries include Adopt-A-Block, now serving several communities.

Candace Porras, one of the Dream Center organizers, described their mission on a sticky Saturday.

"A lot of people have come together, in order to supply 500 backpacks in those six communities, to any kids that need it," she said.

Inside the backpacks, children will find school supplies of course. But there's more!

An encouraging note is also included to help excel in school.

Candace Porras smiles while the children sit quietly during Bible study, preparing to receive the gifts made possible by donations from churches and generous people. She says the good-looking backpacks will help the students "feel like they fit in socially, as well as excel in their education at school," Porras said.

The Adopt-A-Block program also makes sure no one leaves the bookbag distribution day hungry.

Pizza was served, and families received packs of groceries.

"There's a lot of food insecurities in communities here in Raleigh. We saw a need that needed to be met," she said. "When we are out here with the people, enjoying the community that Adopt-A-Block brings, having the volunteers come with us, the churches... it's a picture of the church in action!"
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