1,800 Backpacks and Supplies Given to Those in Need

Notebooks, folders, and pencils fill the backpacks given to students who need a little extra community generosity.

DULUTH, Minn. – 1,800 backpacks and supplies were handed out by CHUM in Duluth at three different locations on Thursday for students who might not be able to otherwise afford supplies.

Notebooks, folders, and pencils usually top school supply lists for kindergarten through twelfth grade students.

Sometimes family situations make it difficult for all families to afford the necessary items and they need extra generosity.

“It’s amazing to see kids that come in and are excited to get something and start the year off right. A lot of the kids that are coming today to get stuff might not have ever gotten the opportunity to get new backpacks or new pencils or pens like that so they would be starting the school year behind,” said Scott Van Daele, the director of distributive services for CHUM.

With the smiles on their faces it seems the kids coming in to pick out their backpacks were happy to be given the opportunity.

“It’s really great because we don’t really get a lot of money to go shopping for school supplies so if there weren’t giveaways like this we wouldn’t be able to get as much,” says Cornelia who is going into ninth grade.

“It feels pretty good to know that you have school supplies for each class,” says Destiny who is going into eighth grade.

Companies such as Bremer Bank donate money, time, and volunteers to help CHUM get the backpacks up and running.

This year the bank donated 150 backpacks to children of Duluth.

“It was a huge team effort at Bremer, many many people involved from every aspect ordering stuffing shipping you name it it was a big project but well worth it, we want every child going to school feeling like they are prepared,” says Jennifer Ryan of Bremer Bank.

This year CHUM was struggling to find goods for their students but the citizens of Duluth answered the call.

“We started out way short this year and we put out that call and in three days we had 1200 1300 backpacks show up and that’s sort of the amazing thing about this community is you do it on a Friday and you come in on a Monday and it’s just there,” said Van Daele.

The amount of students who cannot afford supplies is only growing says CHUM.

“We’ve been doing it over ten years and every year the need just grows last year we gave out over 1,200 in less than three hours and this year we are projected to give out 1,800 in four hours,” said Van Daele.

Any students who are in need and did not get a chance to pick out backpacks are encouraged to go to their guidance counselors.

  • Backpacks left over from Thursday’s giveaway will be saved for students who are still in need.
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