BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WIAT) — School is just around the corner and the Birmingham Police Department is helping to prepare students for the new school year.

The faces of children from all over Birmingham lit up after receiving brand new backpacks full of school supplies. The BPD’s community outreach and public education division hosted their backpack giveaway at five different locations in Birmingham.

The giveaway was open to families with school aged children in need of new backpacks and school supplies. Devoris Ragland-Pierce says lines were out the door with families excited to receive these gifts.

“They are so excited,” said Pierce. “We had so many telephone calls and, like a few minutes ago, we just had a line out the door. So, they’re excited about this, and we’re excited to be able to have this event for them.”

Children who received backpacks also got pencils, pens, crayons, notebooks, paper and more. Pierce says all bookbags given out were clear, which is a requirement for Birmingham City Schools.

Pierce says the giveaway helped to ensure children in need were provided with required school supplies in addition to helping prevent any form of bullying for lack of supplies.

“Going to school is tough enough and so we wanted to make this an effort, a crime prevention effort so kids won’t be bullied at school about not having the essential things that they need,” said Pierce.

Pierce says she hopes events like the backpack giveaway will show support for the Birmingham community in more ways than one.

“Supporting the community is vital,” said Pierce. “You know, we want to bring the community together not only in solving crimes, but bridging that gap for that community and police relationship.”

Birmingham City Schools open on Monday, Aug. 8.