By Derek Liebig
Ann Schinski hopes The Backpack Project sets another record this year.
“Last year we provided 311 backpacks to local students,” said Schinski, who along with Gwen Schneider coordinates the project, which will provide backpacks to and school supplies to local children from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturday, Aug. 10, at Granville High School.
This is the seventh year of the home-grown charity and Schinski said it continues to grow every year. The 311 backpacks that were given out last year were the most in the event’s history and organizers expect to give out even more this year. Not too bad when you consider that the first year organizers ran out of backpacks.
“That first year we had 50 backpacks and we ran out in 45 minutes. We decided after that we would never run out again,” Schinski said.
Schinski said the project was borne from a conversation she had with a co-worker.
“Someone at work was talking about the cost of putting together a backpack and I remember sitting at church one day when the idea kind of came to me and it just went from there,” she said.
The backpack and supplies are available to all students, pre-kindergarten to 12th grade, in the Granville School district, as well as those from Wells and those who attend Mettawee Community School.
The backpacks and supplies are purchased using donations from local businesses, organizations and individual donors.
“Every dollar donated goes directly to the costs of supplies and backpacks,” Schinski said.
Parents who want to get their child a backpack do not have to provide their name or disclose any financial information. All they have to do is give their child’s gender and grade.
Volunteers will gather Friday evening to fill and sort the backpacks and anyone who would like to help is encouraged to contact Schinski or Schneider.
Donations are accepted throughout the year and can be sent to “The Backpack Project,” TD Bank, 6 Main Street, Granville, NY 12832.
Schneider can be reached at 642-3469 and Schinski at 802-287-2787.