The 18th Annual FESCO Backpack Giveaway took place at All Saint’s Church on Saturday, August 16th, from 10:00-12:00. This year we had 121 requests for backpacks and had just over that amount prepared for the day. Over 70% were picked up during the allotted time, with most of the remaining families making previous arrangements to pick up their backpacks at the FESCO office this week.
All Saint’s Parish generously donated free use of their gorgeously remodeled gymnasium. It was especially helpful that they gave FESCO use of the gym for the days leading up to the giveaway. This allowed our volunteers to set up the tables and chairs and transfer the completed backpacks to their respective tables ahead of the event itself.
This year we streamlined the preparation work in order to reduce the amount of volunteers needed and the time each spent preparing for the giveaway. We asked the coalition members to sponsor between 1 and 10 children. They were given a paper bag with a list of all of the supplies that were needed to fill the grade appropriate backpack. These supplies were then matched up with backpacks donated from the Life Chiropractic College’s annual drive. In the past we had approximately 20 volunteers, working various shifts for a week, to stuff backpacks with the appropriate supplies, as well as doing last minute shopping to buy the backpack and supplies that were still needed. This year approximately 7 volunteers did the same job. This model proved to be quite successful and we were left having to buy very little supplies. It was reported multiple times that the shoppers felt like they were doing something very meaningful with their time and money.
As always, Life Chiropractic College sent a group of students to help the children choose a backpack that was appropriate for their grade level as well and made sure they fit correctly. Cindy Johnson, Director of the Literacy Program was also on hand to give each student a brand new age appropriate book. These folks along with volunteers Chris Ippolito, Sherry Mattson, and Mary and John Milton made the day a great one for all of those involved.