Backpack program gears up for back to school
Love In The Name of Christ and Immanuel Lutheran Church in Allegan are partnering to provide school supplies to Allegan and Hamilton area children in need of assistance.
“It is so exciting to have a church come forward and make this part of their outreach to the community,” said Ana Hedberg, special project coordinator for Love INC. “We’ve coordinated the program and all the donations at our office in Hamilton since August 2003 and this is the first time we have had a church come forward to provide the Backpack Program distribution.”
The program provides K-12 backpacks and school supplies to children of Love INC clients who complete an application. The information is sent to Immanuel Lutheran Church, and that church’s congregation fills the backpacks with donated supplies according to the different grade levels. All the supplies and backpacks are donated by area churches, individuals and organizations.
Allegan Public Schools superintendent Kevin Harness said the school district is appreciative of this program, which provides personal school supplies for needy children and families.
“Purchasing a new backpack and many types of school supplies can place a financial burden on families, especially those with multiple students in school,” Harness said. “This program fills a need for these students and helps ensure that they come to school on the first day eager to learn.”
In 2013, Love INC distributed 214 backpacks to struggling families. This year’s distribution will be at Immanuel Lutheran Church on Tuesday, Aug. 26, from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Along with the distribution, there will also be a hot dog cookout for families.
For information on how to apply for backpack assistance, contact Love INC at (269) 751-2533.
Donations can be dropped off at Immanuel Lutheran Church, 631 Grand St., Allegan or at Love INC, 4621 135th Ave., Hamilton.
Backpacks must be age appropriate with generic colors and no characters or wheels.
Elementary school: pencils, pencil boxes, glue sticks, two-pocket folders, erasers, scissors, crayons, markers, colored pencils and wide-ruled paper.
Middle/High School: five-pocket folders, four-spiral notebooks, three-ring binders, pencils, ruler, highlighters, loose leaf paper, blue, black and red pens, erasers, protractor and graph paper.