By Dylan Deprey
Backpacks, pencils, notebooks, pens, erasers, crayons, folders… the list goes on and on. As back-to-school shopping is right around the corner, some parents scramble to get some extra cash to prepare their kids for the upcoming school year.
The Milwaukee Hip-Hop collective, Money Come First Buy Global (MCFBG), hosted its second annual School Supply Giveaway in Sherman Park on Tuesday, July 12, 2017.
There were kids of all ages smiling from ear-to-ear as they walked away with a set of school supplies for the upcoming year.
Rappers Quis Styles and DG Sawi held the school supply giveaway last year following the unrest in Sherman Park.
“We are both artists and active in our community,” Styles said. “All of this here, has been our life.”
Styles said he came up through the Boys & Girls Club and thought it was only right to start giving back to the community. He helps at-risk-youth at St. Charles Youth & Family Services. Sawi, on the other hand, serves our country in the Army.
Styles said that it was Sawi’s idea to do something positive following the national coverage of the unrest.
“He was like, ‘We need to bring some positive attention to that area’ because at the time, the media was going crazy over it, but it was all negative,” Styles said.
Sawi said that it began as a simple Facebook post, and word spread across the City. He reached out to other artists and entertainers, as well as to neighbors, and raised nearly $1,000 worth of school supplies. He said that last year nearly 1,000 people showed up.
Back again for a second year, within a half hour 80 kids had showed up excited for the upcoming school year.
“It feels good to send these kids home with some school supplies because we want these kids ready and prepared for school,” Sawi said.
Rappers, artists and entertainers looked on as a line formed grew from school supply covered picnic table in Sherman Park.
Black Chris, rapper, said if he was in the position where he couldn’t afford school supplies for his own, he would want somebody to help out just as they were.
“There were times when I was coming up, and moms didn’t always have it, so things like this come in handy,” Chris said. “So, the supplies they take is an extra $10 or $20 that goes into the household. And, that makes it easier for the child to function at school because when they don’t have the right utensils, they aren’t going to focus. Then they’re going to do what they going to do.”
So, whether its keeping a kid from acting up in class because they aren’t prepared, or to give them the motivation to stay in class, Chris, Sawi, Styles and all the other artists and neighbors who donated were giving Milwaukee’s youth a helping hand.
“Any chance I get, I’m going help,” Black Chris said. “It’s not about nothing else excepting helping people.”