R.E.S.P.E.C.T. rally draws thousands

R-E-S-P-E-C-T find out what it means to community.

Today, at Kelly Ingram Park the 18th annual R.E.S.P.E.C.T. back-to-school rally took center stage.

This year's rally extra meaningful, since it's the 50 year commemoration of the Civil Rights movement. More than 15,000 people came out to Kelly Ingram Park today.

While the rally serves as an opportunity for girls and boys to get free school supplies backpacks for the upcoming school year,{} this rally is about "teaching" them so much more.Pastor Steve Green, is the founder of R.E.S.P.E.C.T. organization and the pastor at More Than Conquerors Faith Church. {}What is R.E.S.P.E.C.T?"Respecting, every, single, person, ever, created, today," Green explains.Green says the mission of his organization is to teach young minds the importance of respect in their daily lives."To respect from their heart. (Respect) their parents, the police, property, every single people that God has created today," says Green.Saturday's rally also serves as an opportunity for families to get back to school supplies for their children.

More than 4000 free backpacks were given out

Alandria Harris and others in attendance couldn't be happier."I think it's remarkable, I think it's amazing that they're helping all the kids, and those who are in need. It's just a great feeling to be able to be helped," said a beaming Harris.On this day of respect, pastor Green says it's important not to overlook the location of the rally. Kelly Ingram Park. A statue of Dr. Martin Luther King stands, serving as a reminder of his lasting message of respect. Green says, "We don't want to be know by the color of our skin, but by the content of our character. And of course, respect is a characteristic that we want to all of our races and genders to know about."

ABC 33/40 is one of the primary sponsors to the back to school R.E.S.P.E.C.T rally.

Dave Baird and the ABC 33/40 team stopped by the rally this afternoon, handing out thousands of school supply kits to eager boys and girls, getting ready for the upcoming school year.