GRAND RAPIDS, Mich., (WOOD) — Several community leaders and volunteers spent Tuesday afternoon packing backpacks for children in need.
The Fill-A-Backpack event was put on by the Early Learning Neighborhood Collaborative at the Life EMS center in Grand Rapids. The ELNC says it purchased 400 backpacks to fill with school supplies for pre-K students.
“This is so important because I’m a mother of five and I know what it means to make sure your child starts off school right and on the right footing,” Nkechy Ekere Ezeh, Ph.D., the founder and CEO of ELNC, said. “Honestly, it sets the tone for the whole year because I came in and I’m prepared. The mother is feeing good and the child is feeling good.”
Ezeh says her organization spent the last three weeks collecting supplies like construction paper, markers and notebooks. ELNC says they were able to fill 350 of the backpacks they bought.
“This is just a great program to give people a jump start on an education and it’s so critical,” Mark Meijer, the president of Life EMS, said. “We hope that some junior paramedics are going to get these bags, so we can hire them some day.”
ELNC says all the bags were preassigned to a Grand Rapids area student in need. The organization says they are still accepting school supplies at the Bridge Street location and monetary donations to fill the remaining 50 backpacks. More information can be found at the ELNC website.
Organizers say they’re hoping to make the backpack giveaway an annual event.