Ozzie’s Kids, Kiwanis Club Send Haverhill Students Back to School in Style With Backpack Giveaway

Accepting a check from Kiwanis President Tom Faulkner (right) on behalf of Ozzie's Kids were late Haverhill Police Officer Osmond "Ozzie" Hardy's son Robert Hardy (left), daughter Khristina and granddaughter Makayla. (Courtesy photograph)

More than 150 Haverhill children are headed back to school in style on Aug. 27 thanks to the generosity of city residents, businesses and the charity founded by late Haverhill Police Officer Osmond “Ozzie” Hardy called Ozzie’s Kids.

Over the weekend, the organization best known for their Christmas gift giveaway mixed things up and distributed backpacks stuffed with school supplies to 158 children. Eight lucky children will also go on a $100 shopping spree for back to school items this coming Saturday, organizer Khristina Hardy tells WHAV.

“What a wonderful weekend we had. Ozzie’s Kids is so grateful to our volunteers who helped stuff backpacks and to our donors,” said Hardy. In addition to St. John’s Church and the Kiwanis Club—who was inspired to give after hearing about the donation drive on WHAV—school supplies were donated by members of the community in recent weeks.

Such a groundswell of support humbles Hardy and her family, she said. “I am so honored to be part of a community that has continued to help keep Ozzie's Kids memory alive,” Khristina told WHAV.

Additional events planned through Ozzie’s Kids include a tag day on Aug. 31, Halloween costume giveaway on Oct. 5 and Halloween parade on Oct. 12. Sign-up information for the annual Christmas gift distribution begins in September, with residents encouraged to monitor the Ozzie’s Kids Facebook page for more details as they become available.

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