PARKERSBURG - Nearly 60 volunteers gathered Wednesday to stuff 1,000 backpacks with donated back-to-school supplies.
The annual United Way Alliance program provides school supplies for at-need students throughout the region.
"The United Way would like to see all kids start school with confidence and the supplies necessary to succeed," said Joyce Mather, United Way Alliance executive director.
Photo by Jeff Baughan
James Pfaff, an Energy Express member, carries numerous backpacks from First Presbyterian Church in Parkersburg Wednesday that will be distributed at Energy Express sites in Parkersburg and Vienna.
The volunteers gathered Wednesday afternoon at the First Presbyterian Church in Parkersburg to fill the backpacks with donated supplies. The volunteers came from Parkersburg High School, Parkersburg South High School, the Parkersburg Lions Club and Altrusa International of Parkersburg, Mather said.
Items were donated through WesBanco, Huntington Bank, Office Depot, the Parkersburg Lions Club and private donors. Mather said the United Way Alliance worked with Office Depot, Parkersburg Office Supply, Noe Office Equipment & Supply and Kmart to purchase additional school supplies.
Each backpack also included a packet of dental health products, such as toothpaste, toothbrushes and dental floss, which were purchased through a grant from the West Virginia University School of Dentistry. This is the first year for the dental packets to be included in the backpacks.
The backpacks are being distributed through Community Resources, a United Way Alliance community partner. The program will benefit students in Calhoun, Jackson, Ritchie, Roane, Tyler, Wirt and Wood counties in West Virginia, and Belpre and Little Hocking schools in southern Washington County in Ohio.
Mather said details of the backpack distribution will be announced in a few weeks, with families being able to sign up for times to pick up items.