After weeks of collecting, sorting and packing goods, Community Services League officials and volunteers have handed out school supplies and footwear to more than 2,500 children from their six Eastern Jackson County locations, CEO Doug Cowan said.

Community Services League hosted Back-to-School fairs Saturday and Wednesday in Independence and Monday in Blue Springs. CSL now has three locations in Independence after it recently opened a branch at the Hawthorne Place Apartments near the intersection of U.S. 24 and Missouri 291, to go with locations in Blue Springs, Grain Valley and Oak Grove.

With the new Hawthorne location, CSL is able to serve more young students than ever with supplies before the school year starts next week, Cowan said.

“It's a big add-on serving those children in the Independence and Fort Osage districts,” he said.

Kansas City Royals outfielder Brandon Moss was at Saturday's fair at the Noland Road location, as Royals Charities was a large sponsor for CSL. As always though, when it comes to donations and volunteering, Cowan said, “The heart-and-soul of it is the community.”