Operation Backpack Readied

OSKALOOSA — It’s that time of year again! United Way of Mahaska County is partnering with SIEDA, the Salvation Army, local businesses, and the Oskaloosa Community School District to launch another year of Operation Backpack. 2016 marks the eighth year of the program, and United Way says they are confident that this year  will be another that full represents the Oskaloosa community’s commitment to their children and schools.

In the past three years alone, around a thousand backpacks full of school supplies have been given to children in need in Mahaska County. These bags of supplies ensure students are adequately prepared for the upcoming school year and more confident in their ability to succeed in their education.

Operation Backpack donation boxes will once again find their way to local businesses in the Oskaloosa Community on or around July 6. Donating is quick, easy and convenient with multiple collection sites around Oskaloosa.

On July 1, a complete list of collection sites and supply needs will be posted at UnitedWayMahaska.org/OpBackpack.

This information can also be obtained by calling United Way of Mahaska County at 641-673-6043.

On July 29, from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m., donation boxes will be brought to the North Hy-Vee parking lot for the United Way’s annual Stuff the Bus event. 2016 will be the sixth year of Stuff the Bus, a program that supports Operation Backpack. The event gives community members one last chance to donate to Operation Backpack and helps fill the high demand for supplies. During the event, donation boxes full of school supplies will be used to completely fill an actual school bus.

In the weeks following the event, many volunteers will work to sort donations, fill hundreds of backpacks with the necessary school supplies, and hand them out to applicants. Applications to receive a backpack can be found in the Oskaloosa Shopper, at SIEDA, United Way of Mahaska County, End of Month Meals locations, Summer Lunch Program locations, Crisis Intervention Services, and Love INC.

The deadline for applications is July 29. /Operation Backpack and Stuff the Bus are successful only because of the support they have from the entire community. Whether it’s donating or volunteering, both programs are great opportunities to make an impact in the Oskaloosa community.

If you would like to help in preparing Oskaloosa students for school this year, or would like more information on volunteering or donating, please contact the United Way of Mahaska County at 641-673-6043 or send program coordinator, Emily Brown, an email at uwmc.coordinator@gmail.com.


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