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Arkansas woman gives away over 500 backpacks

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North Little Rock, Arkansas – Since 2017, Tamara Fudge has braved the heat to make a profit selling watermelons in Arkansas – which is a tradition she’s kept alive.

“My father, the late Jessie Fudge, used to sell watermelons in the Dark Hollow community,” Fudge said.

According to Fudge, her father would use the money he made to buy school supplies for kids in the community, and after his passing, she wanted to continue his legacy of giving. “I was once a single parent and I had multiple kids, so I know that sometimes the budget can be tight,” Fudge said.

On Saturday Fudge organized more than 500 backpacks stuffed with school supplies and said she wanted to give them out to anyone who needed them.

Regina Smith, a member of the local community, has four grandchildren. “This is a blessing to the parents that [are] not fortunate to get out and get backpacks and school supplies,” Smith said.

According to Smith, Saturday’s backpack giveaway will help in more ways than one. “I’m saving [because] the cost of backpacks are $10 to $15, plus another $25 to $50 just to get school supplies,” Smith said.

She had no desire to continue to backpack giveaway started by her dad, but after giving it much thought, she said she discovered it to be a way for her to cope, Fudge said. “Listening to the stories about my dad and people telling me how he helped them along the way in the community, so that helped me with my grief process,” Fudge said.

Fudge’s plans are to continue the annual event and make the giveaway bigger every year. “I’m grateful for this community that has made me the person that I am today,” Fudge said.

 

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