JACKSON, Mich. (WLNS) — Hundreds of backpacks fill the basement of First United Methodist Church in Jackson and organizers say they are ready to get those into the hands of kids as the need for school supplies continues to grow.
“We are helping children succeed and that’s what we want,” said Leader of the Jackson Back to School Blast, Fran Adams.
Adams is also one of the leaders behind the Back-to-School blast. It’s an effort that will bring more than 1,000 backpacks filled with school supplies to kids in need in Jackson.
“It seems overwhelming and as we pack them it is a big chore and you know you are tired afterward, but then when I stop and think about it and think that thousand really only touches about ten percent, it’s really it seems like a huge number but it doesn’t really. There’s room for other people who provide the backpacks too because we can’t do it all,” said Adams.
New research from the Salvation Army shows more than thirty percent of Jackson kids are currently living in poverty. It’s something leaders there say they are seeing more and more of inside their food pantries every week.
“They have a choice. Do I fix the tire or do I buy food and send my kids to school with supplies,” said Chairman of the Jackson Salvation Army, Bill Blakemoore.
Separately, the Salvation Army is also working to get kids ready for school. It’s setting up bins at the Walmart in Jackson– ready to be filled with more school supplies with help from the community.
“That’s what we would really hope that those bins at Walmart just get filled to the brim many times during the day,” said Blakemoore.
Both organizations call it a team effort, and one that not only helps parents, but also gives kids the confidence they need to step back into the classroom.
“Help to build their self-esteem and help them to grow, so our goal is to help them to grow to be good people,” said Adams.
The Back-To-School blast is Thursday from 6:00-8:00 p.m. and will also feature vendors with more helpful resources for families. It’s free for families, but you’ll need to bring your kids.