PAY IT FORWARD: Back to school help

School districts all across the DMV welcomed back students over the past two weeks.  And while the school day may look completely different the need for some families to just make ends meet hasn’t changed.  

That’s where the Upcounty Hub at Black Rock Center has stepped up and in. They have been providing school supplies, food boxes, and COVID-19 kits since the pandemic began to nearly 800 families each week. 

Grace Rivera-Oven says she started with helping families in a nearby trailer park but when the pandemic hit the need grew.  “We began providing families with COVID-19 kits in addition to food boxes and now that school has started, book bags full of supplies,” she says.

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As the need grew Rivera-Oven’s space requirements grew as well. That’s when Lynn Arndt and the BlackRock Arts Center in Germantown opened their closed doors. The arts center is now The Hub for donations with volunteers who stuff boxes and care packages and then deliver them to the residents who need them.

Thursday morning Easterns Automotive Group and the Pay It Forward crew helped by donating $1,500 to the Hub.

For more information about how you can donate or if you are in Montgomery County and need help log on to