To the editor:
Project Backpack, the school supply drive at Helpline House, is quickly coming to the close of another successful year. Thank you to all who have donated backpacks and school supplies for this much-appreciated project helping Island school kids.
For the families who seek services at Helpline House, providing the basics of life — housing, electricity, medical care and food — is a challenge even in the best of times. That’s where the community of Bainbridge Island steps in through Project Backpack and donating school supplies, backpacks and money to pay for other required expenses related to starting the new school year.
This week we were able to provide more than 150 school children with new backpacks and all the essential supplies to start school. The students will not only be taking all these supplies with them to school, but also an intangible — the gift of fitting in with the rest of the students whose families were comfortably able to provide them with these things. They will also be able to contribute to their classroom supplies just like the rest of their classmates.
So, to our generous community, thank you. Thank you to our local businesses, who generously contributed funds to purchase basic supplies: Classic Car Cruise, Island Fitness, Paper Products, Wildernest/Gear Nest and Windermere Real Estate as well as Ace Hardware who donated cloth bags for supplies. Our thanks also goes out to the kindergartner who picked out a backpack for another child when choosing his, the grandmother who brought us several backpacks completely filled with school supplies, and everyone else who cared enough to come in the door at Helpline or Paper Products with a backpack or a few supplies, or who donated through our “tip jar” at T&C or Paper Products, thank you. Many of you had stories to tell of hardship in your own families and were grateful to be able to help.
This week we celebrated the generosity of our community of Bainbridge Island as we greeted excited children picking out their new backpacks. Happy new school year to you all!
MARILYN GREMSE, Manager of Volunteer Services
AND THE VOLUNTEER PROJECT BACKPACK TEAM