ALPENA - The Salvation Army of Alpena County is accepting donations of new backpacks, pens, pencils, notebooks and three-ring binders for its annual back to school assistance for Alpena County families in financial hardship.
"We are collecting items right now to help supply these children with things they need for school," Maj. Craig Stoker said.
The Salvation Army has been giving backpacks to families with hardships for over eight years in the Alpena area.
"Parents just have to fill out a short application, the same as the one for commodities, and we will give them their supplies while they are there," worker Kathy Ceci said. "This way they don't have to make another trip. Over 100 donations are needed in Alpena County based on the financial needs of the community."
New backpacks are preferred, and when donated are sorted by elementary size and junior high size, and are sorted into boys and girls categories.
"We pack them all the same with the supplies that are donated," Ceci said. "Even though the school supplies some materials, most students need additional binders and notebooks. Those are the items that we know are needed that a lot of the low income families maybe can't afford."
All the leftover items from the donations will be taken to school success workers, and distributed to students who couldn't attend the back pack donation, or who need the extra supplies throughout the year.
"It makes the kids feel great to get a new backpack," Ceci said. "They're just tickled pink, especially the younger ones."
The backpacks donated will be available for families Aug. 26-30, from 10 a.m.-3 p.m. at the Salvation Army at 722 N. Second Ave. If a family is not able to attend at the scheduled times, they can call the Salvation Army at 358-2769, and make an appointment.
In order to qualify for a free backpack and supplies, applicants must have a picture identification, proof of all income and an identification for the school-age children such as a school ID, birth certificate, medical card or Social Security card.
Backpacks and supplies are needed by Aug. 19, to allow time for packing them with supplies.
If you have any questions, or would like to learn more, call the Salvation Army at 358-2769.
Nicole Grulke can be reached via email at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at 358-5687. Follow Nicole on Twitter @ng_alpenanews.