Backpacks donated to families - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Backpacks donated to families

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By Christian Jennings - bio | email

August 28, 2008

ALBANY, GA (WALB) - Everything is a little more expensive these days and that includes school supplies. Kids need pencils and notebooks and backpacks to be productive in their classrooms. But some parents can't afford it.

That's why World Vision, a Christian Humanitarian organization in Albany, was busy Thursday morning. More than 600 backpacks were loaded by the dozens out of a warehouse, into cars, and delivered to schools all throughout Dougherty county.

"Today is backpacks. We got them in late but as soon as we got them in we wanted to make sure we got them in the hands of the staff and the schools so they can be available to do what they need to do, be in the hands of students,"" says Jim Ewings with World Vision.

More than 30% of Dougherty County children live in poverty. But kids still need school supplies. And for the parents who can't afford them, world vision, in partnership with the Kids in Need foundation, takes care of it.

"Our economic system is in bad shape right now and parents are having difficulties trying to purchase supplies and things that are needed for the kids in school right now," says Rodriquez Graper, the Lamar Reese Elementary Parent Liaison.

Backpacks aren't the only thing kids need. This teacher resource center kicked off last year. It's a free store full of the basics. Pens, pencils, and paper; you name it, they've got. All to help out kids and families who need it.

"It's bringing a smile to the kids faces as well as the parents," says Graper. Smiles the program has brought to local families for three years now.

"Right now we have 20 of our schools already coming through out teacher resource center, we have 27 schools in Dougherty County and we're hoping to have all of them on board by Christmas," says Ewings.

A goal that would have the start of a New Year, a little brighter for hundreds of Dougherty county families. Counselors, teachers, and other workers help identify the students and families in need of donations.

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