The Georgia Mountains YMCA hosted its annual Back to School Bash event Thursday, with a few key changes to prevent the spread of the coronavirus.
Rather than hosting the event in the gym as they had in years prior, Georgia Mountains YMCA CEO Amy Kienle explained that they had to get creative to abide by CDC guidelines. Staff and volunteers set up tents throughout the parking lot at the building off Georgia 365 in Gainesville to provide the pre-packaged backpacks so the children and parents did not have to leave their cars.
"[We want to] make sure parents and kids stay and remain in their vehicles, and it becomes contactless," Kienle said. "Our staff and volunteers are wearing masks today."
Zeor Gweon, a mother of four, said that she was initially worried about the social distancing aspect of the event, but felt comfortable driving through the line.
"I have a seventh grader, a fifth grader, a kindergartner and a pre-k [student], and to be able to have this opportunity?" Gweon said. "I'm grateful for it."
While the event was scheduled to run for three hours, demand was so great, the 500 backpacks were distributed within 40 minutes.