SCRANTON -- Back to school can be a burden on families and teachers.
A program that started in Scranton to help ease that burden has grown a lot ahead of this school year. So much, that it will now help students in several counties.
A big delivery of backpacks to Lackawanna College in Scranton really started eight years ago as an idea among a few coworkers.
"The five people in my office started this off. We reached out to one school. We had 50 backpacks, and we were so thrilled with ourselves when we went," said Theresa Scopelliti of the Lackawanna College Registrar's Office.
They're really thrilled now.
On Wednesday, volunteers worked to unload a donation of almost 1,600 backpacks filled with school supplies. The donor is Parker Hill Church, and its members responded in a big way.
"Little did I know they were going to bring me 1,000 backpacks, which was phenomenal. Because of that though, we were able to reach out to satellite centers," Scopelliti added.
Elementary students in several counties in our area will receive the backpacks next month. When it`s all said and done, Lackawanna College officials think there will be about 2,500 backpacks to distribute.
"If we can buy the backpacks and the supplies, that`s a small thing that we can do for all the work that they do for our kids," said Steve Brown, Executive Pastor of Parker Hill Church.
Parker Hill's donation makes up more than half of the total. Unloading all those backpacks took a lot of effort.
The assembly line sped up thanks to the Lackawanna College football team who got in line not knowing there were more than 1,000 backpacks still to go. But, many hands made light work and a big difference.
"I feel like we`re doing a great thing for the community, so just trying to help out, give back, so that we`re just not all about sports," said Lackawanna College Football player Brendan Nichols.