LOCK HAVEN - Four nonprofit organizations have formed a partnership to help area children from economically-stressed families obtain school supplies they will need to do well this fall.
The Rotary Club of Lock Haven, currently coordinating its third annual Back to School Backpack Project, has joined forces this year with the Salvation Army, the Clinton County Chapter of the Pennsylvania Association of School Retirees (PASR) and Clinton County Big Brothers Big Sisters to provide 220 backpacks filled with basic age-appropriate school supplies.
According to Rotarian Elizabeth Eckley, project co-chair, the Rotary club donated 30 backpacks last year to Keystone Central elementary school guidance counselors to distribute. The club has had to double that amount to 60 this year due to increased need.
Kim Weidler, third from left, Northwest Savings Bank Lock Haven Office manager, presented a monetary contribution and 220 pencils, pens and rulers donated by the bank to Back to School Backpack Committee members, from left, April Welshans, Community Service director for the Rotary Club of Lock Haven; Pennsylvania Association of School Retirees member Donna Yost; and Salvation Army Maj. Marie Harris, vice president of the Rotary club. For more information about how you can help with the Back to School Back Pack Project, call the major at 748-2951.
"We are delighted to work with Rotary because we share their goal to make it possible for children in Clinton County to have the materials they need to do their homework and learn," said Salvation Army Maj. Marie Harris.
"The Salvation Army will provide 100 backpacks filled with school supplies this year," she said.
The major also is vice president of the Lock Haven Rotary Club.
The Salvation Army started registering qualifying families for the school supplies and backpacks yesterday. Registration continues today at the citadel at 119 E. Church St. The items will be given to the approved families after Aug. 21.
Individuals may still inquire at the citadel after today, since the Salvation Army intends to hand out backpacks to qualified families until the entire supply is depleted.
PASR members Donna Yost, Denice Kramer and Phyllis Grenoble spearheaded efforts to provide more than 50 backpacks to children and young people, in kindergarten through 12th grade, who participate in the Clinton County Big Brothers Big Sisters program. A grant from the local PASR chapter helped fund the project. Jovanna Thompson of BBBS assisted and will hand out the filled backpacks to the children at a picnic this weekend.
Northwest Savings Bank Lock Haven Office Manager Kim Weidler presented a monetary contribution plus 220 rulers, No. 2 pencils and pens to support the project.
Area businesses and members of the community are invited to make a Clinton County youth school-ready with a $10 contribution for each backpack they wish to sponsor. Checks should be made payable to either the Rotary Club of Lock Haven or The Salvation Army with "Backpack Project" written in the memo line. Rotary checks should be mailed to club treasurer Jacinth Maynard, 365 E. Main St., Apt. 1, Lock Haven, Pa. 17745. Checks for The Salvation Army should be mailed to 119 E. Church St., Lock Haven, Pa. 17745 or dropped off at the citadel.
For more information about how you can help with the Back to School Back Pack Project, call Harris at 748-2951.