Backpacks full of supplies ready for kids in need
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Backpacks full of supplies ready for kids in need

Sep 09, 2023

Kids with unstable home environments are starting the school year with new — and full — backpacks.

Community partners banded together again to load a pickup at J.C. Lewis Ford of Hinesville with 125 backpacks, containing a combined 2,425 items for kids in the school system.

The backpacks were put together with students’ ages in mind, with different supplies for preschool, elementary, middle and high school students. Each one had at least 20 different items students might need, Hinesville Downtown Development Authority executive director Michelle Ricketson said, including highlighters, pencils, colored pencils and three-ring binders for the older students.

“We really hope this helps our young people who need a boost at the start of the school year,” she said.

The HDDA also partnered with the state Department of Community Development to help identify those children who might be homeless or precariously housed. There are extra backpacks for other homeless families that move into the school system during the year, and Ricketson said the city’s homeless prevention program will help them.

“We’re so pleased to have such a generous community and a network of partners who are concerned about our scholars and getting them started on the right foot,” she said.

The backpacks were purchased and filled with the help of J.C. Lewis Ford, Walmart Neighborhood Market No. 4519, Unlimited Taxes and More, National University, the City of Hinesville, the HDDA, St. Philip’s Episcopal Church and new sponsor Steven A. Cohen Military Family Clinic.

“To all of our partners, thank you so much,” said schools Superintendent Dr. Franklin Perry.

“We are so proud to be a part of this,” added J.C. Lewis Ford of Hinesville general manager Julian Lewis. “It is something easy for us to get behind.”