Helpline House prepares island students for another school year

Marilyn Gremse looks through a box of glue sticks ready to be packed in backpacks for Helpline House
Marilyn Gremse looks through a box of glue sticks ready to be packed in backpacks for Helpline House's Project Backpack.
— image credit: Cecilia Garza | Bainbridge Island Review

This week volunteers at Helpline House stuffed backpacks and organized school supplies for their annual back-to-school program, Project Backpack.

The program provides Bainbridge Island children with the necessities for school each August.

“We have a variety of donors, and there’s a lot of families who don’t only go shopping for their children but for Project Backpack,” said Marilyn Gremse of the Helpline House.

This year, 167 families registered for supplies, which amounted to about 180 students from grades K-12 who were served by Helpline House.

The program provides students with everything from three-ring binders, color pencils and glue sticks to backpacks and report covers.

Along with family donations, dollar contributions from businesses and the community allowed volunteers to purchase specific items to make sure every child received the same thing.

The program goes beyond just school supplies.

Students who arrived at Helpline House for the Project Backpack pick-up this week were given access to the clothing bank to choose back-to-school clothes.

Likewise, contributions will also allow Project Backpack to continue giving into the school year, Gremse explained. The program strives to offer funds for children who wish to participate in school enrichment activities.

This year’s sponsors were Cruise In, Paper Products, Island Fitness, Wildernest/Gear Stash, Windermere Real Estate and Ace Hardware.

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