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  • Last modified 8 days ago (Aug. 15, 2019)

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School supply drive has plenty of packs

Staff writer

There were no tears or disappointed faces this year in Marion Activity Center’s ballroom as 73 children collected brand-new backpacks filled with needed supplies.

Thanks to the generosity of the effort’s many donors, organizers of Back to School with Backpacks had more than enough for every child Aug. 3 including 20 who showed up without filling out forms in advance, said Jeannie Wildin, a member of the charity’s committee.

“We were able to provide all they needed and a new backpack for each child,” she said proudly.

The committee still has bags and supplies available for children who need help, she said.

“Some children show up to school without supplies and we will be able to take care of it,” Wildin said.

Becky Howard, another organizer, said she was thrilled by how many came forward to help them carry out their mission.

“The community was amazing with the support they gave,” Howard said.

Back to School with Backpacks was organized to ensure that no child in the county would begin school without supplies for a successful year. Students of Marion-Florence, Centre, Peabody-Burns, and Goessel schools were served.

Supportive fund-raising efforts included a garage sale and trees set up in churches and businesses that included cards with information about a child requesting help.

Many others in the community came forward with generous donations as well, Wildin said.

Encouraged by this year’s success, the five-woman committee of Howard, Wildin, Jackie Volbrecht, Chelsea Darrow, and Janice Fanter is planning to assist more children next year.

Most students served by Back to School with Backpacks this year were required to fill out intake forms available through schools and the Marion County Resource Center and Food Bank.

Students who receive free or reduced-priced lunches automatically qualified to receive help.

Next year, Wildin said, they will try to help any Marion County child in need of aid.

“If they have a need, we will take care of them,” she said.

For more information, contact Becky Howard at (316) 377-9533 or Jeannie Wildin at (620) 382-4270.

Last modified Aug. 15, 2019

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