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Detroit-Based Social Service Agency Seeks 1,400 Backpacks and School Supplies

July 14, 2020, 11:00 PM

This content is sponsored by Samaritas, a non-profit agency which serves 13,000 people statewide and offers services for foster care, adoptions, seniors, refugees and victims of human trafficking.

Samaritas, a Detroit-based health and human services agency with offices around the state, is launching its Annual Backpack Drive for Kids on Wednesday, asking the public to donate 1,400 backpacks and school supplies to fill them for children it serves.

“The uncertainty of how schools will open is worrisome for all of us," said Samartias CEO Kevin Van Den Bosch. "The anxiety is even worse for our clients who were already struggling to make ends meet. Many are not in a position to give their kids what they need for school. We want to make sure that the kids in our network are ready for any educational platform they may face this fall. Any donations to help us meet our goal will be helpful.”

The drive runs through Aug. 15.

Because of the coronavirus, in-person donations are not accepted this year. Instead, the backpacks and school supplies may be purchased from this Amazon Wish List, and shipped to the Samaritas Detroit Office, 8131 E. Jefferson Ave., Detroit, Michigan, 48214. Monetary donations can be made online by clicking here.

The agency is suggesting brightly-colored or age-appropriate themed backpacks like those from Marvel and Paw Patrol for younger children and gender-neutral ones for students nine and older.

Learn more about the program here

Recommended school supplies include:

• ballpoint pens (blue, black, red)
• calculators
• colored pencils
• crayons
• erasers
• glue and glue sticks
• highlighters
• index cards
• loose leaf paper (wide and college-ruled)
• markers
• notebooks (spiral bound)
• pencils (no. 2)
• pencil sharpeners
• pencil pouches and/or boxes
• permanent markers (Sharpies)
• pocket folders
• post-it notes
• scissors (regular and safety)
• three-ring binders

The backpacks and supplies will be distributed the week of Aug. 24 by the 11 Samaritas offices around the state that offer child and family services.

Volunteers of First Presbyterian Church of Warren and Emmanuel Lutheran Church of Southfield will prepare each backpack with donated supplies.

For more information, contact Samaritas at info@samaritas.org.  

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