The Connecting Link of Harrison County is currently collecting school supplies for its 'Build a Backpack Program.' Organizers said they hope the program will help kids start school on a level playing field.
"We are implementing a backpack program for income eligible families in Harrison County. This ensures that the students who are going back to school, whatever income they have, will have fresh back-to-school backpack supplies,” explained Lisa Hinzman, Holiday Coordinator for Connecting Link.
The program is for students in Kindergarten through 12th Grade.
Connecting Link is collecting supplies such as backpacks, notebooks, pencils, calculators, crayons and much more.
Both businesses and individuals have already donated items. Some places are holding collection drives, including West Virginia Junior College.
"It's just a huge way to give back to the community and the kids really enjoy it and really like being prepared,” said Aaron Jones, with the WVJC IT Club.
The Medical and IT Clubs teamed up this year to collect items, and organizers believe the backpack program can help prevent bullying.
"A lot of them get teased when they aren't prepared so this is a way for us to help make another handful of kids that much more prepared and help combat bullying,” explained Jones.
Hinzman agrees and said the program is a confidence booster.
"In today's day and age this person may have this; this person may not have that. Incomes are just not there, what this does is make for sure everybody is on the same page. They don't have to worry about not having fresh crayons or a new backpack and we take care of that burden for them,” explained Hinzman.
Kids who are signed up for the program will get to make their backpacks August 12.
Items can be dropped off at WVJC, or at Connecting Link.
Anyone who needs a backpack can go to Connecting Link to sign up.
There are certain days and times for those interested to sign up: July 17 from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. and July 18 from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m.
You need to have a photo ID, income for everyone in the household for the past 30 days, a social security card for everyone in the household, and proof of residency for Harrison County.
If you have any questions call 304-623-6681.