G wen Schneider expects to have a record number of backpacks available for needy families this year, but she says The Backpack Project is going to need help to do that.
“It costs a lot to buy the backpacks and other items,” said Schneider, who along with Ann Schinski coordinates the project, which will be giving out backpacks and school supplies from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., Saturday, Aug. 11, at Granville High School. “We really need help this year. Even a donation of $10 will help.”
This is the sixth year of the home-grown project, and Schneider said the number of backpacks has grown every year. Last year, the group gave out 298 backpacks. This year, Schneider said, the project wants to have a minimum of 300 and is shooting for 350. In the first year, the group did not have enough backpacks for the families who wanted them, but it has in every year since.
“We don’t want to turn anyone away,” Schneider said. “I never realized it would get to the size it is, but we want to help everyone who needs it.”
The backpacks and supplies are available to all students, pre-kindergarten to 12th grade and are available to all students in the Granville District, as well as those from Wells and those who attend Mettawee Community School.
Parents who want to get backpacks do not need to give their names. All they have to do is give the gender and grade of the student.
Volunteers fill the backpacks, and while Schneider says the group has people doing that, it is also always looking for more volunteers.
Those who cannot donate before this year’s event can do it any time.
“We are always accepting donations,” Schneider said. “We shop all year long, because we buy on clearance to get the best deal.”
Donations can be sent to The Backpack Project, TD Bank, 6 Main St., Granville, NY, 12832. Those interested in volunteering or in donating supplies can call Schinski at 802-287-0094 or Schneider at 518-222-4968.