Just Joel’s owner to hand out hundreds of backpacks stuffed with school supplies Aug. 26

School Supplies
Courtesy: Joel Watson

KENNEWICK, Wash. — After collecting enough backpacks and school supplies to fill a school bus, Joel Watson and friends will be handing them all out at Jay Perry Park on Wednesday, Aug. 26.

Starting at 6 p.m., the school supply-stuffed backpacks will be available for any students to pick up free-of-charge. The park is located at West 13th Avenue and South Newport Street.

Watson, owner of Just Joel’s Cafe in Kennewick, has generated immense support for students in the Tri-Cities community over the past several weeks.

With help from friends and supporters, the restaurant owner-turned-local celebrity raised over $25,000 in one weekend to purchase headphones for local students who will be starting the school year remotely because of the coronavirus pandemic.

Following the success of this fundraiser, earlier this month Watson came up with the idea to fill a school bus with school supplies to give away to kids in need.

Thanks to countless donations from community members and local businesses, the school bus was overflowing with backpacks and supplies in about two weeks.

Watson said in addition to the stuffed backpacks, there will be 200 kids’ meal vouchers donated Subway given away at the distribution event.

He said the stuffed backpacks will be handed out until they’re gone, and he suspects they will go fast.

You can scroll the Just Joel’s Facebook page to learn more about the support behind Watson’s school supply drive.

Shout out to Subway for hooking up 200 meals for kids when we pass out these back packs tomorrow at 6pm … #TogetherWeCan

Posted by Just Joel's on Tuesday, August 25, 2020