Kids want to learn, want to get smarter. But some are facing a bigger challenge than a math test.
They have no school supplies.
That’s where the United Way and Operation backpack comes in.
Everything a student needs, zipped up into one backpack.
“Students that are prepared and start school with the supplies they need are definitely more prepared and are more successfull with more self confidence,” said Tina Gentry, CEO/President of the United Way of the Lowcountry.
The United Way is using thousands of dollars in donations to prepare hundreds of students in need through Operation Backpack.
Volunteers loading the bookbags up with 10,000 different items, pencils, paper, glue, whatever kids may need.
“Many of these children are on free and reduced lunches and they don’t have the money to pay for school uniforms nor pay for school supplies they need to start off successful each year,” said Gentry. “And they pick them up before they start school. That way when they start school they have supplies just like every other student.”
“This really gives the kids a fresh start a really good positive attitude for the beginning of the school year,” said Robin Boozer, a volunteer.
Robin Boozer is a former teacher, and has seen the difference just having something simple, like a backpack that is their own, makes in a students’ education, and their life.
“You have kids that are going into kindergarten that have never ever had a backpack, or crayons or markers or pencils,” explained Boozer. “They feel like this is christmas for them. they really do. they want to open the backpacks and see all the fun stuff and they want to use it immediately.”
Volunteer kids like Carter Bowersox say the hard work is teaching him a lesson too.
“Keep working hard, they need to succeed in life, don’t give up. keep striving for greatness,” said Carter Bowersox.
Greatness which can start with just a few school supplies, and one backpack.
“They put a little love in each backpack for the kids,” said Boozer.
Robin Boozer got to take the first load of backpacks and school uniforms to teachers at Shanklin Elementary Tuesday. That’s the school where she used to teach.
60 bookbags and several boxes of uniforms were given to teachers there.
Each one will go to a student not served by any other agency. Ones who wouldn’t have supplies any other way.
Teachers called it a “blessing” that gives kids a better chance at a good education.