Handing Out Backpacks, School Supplies to Students in Need in Schuylkill County

POTTSVILLE, Pa. -- Even though we're in the heart of summer, the 2019-2020 school year will be here before we know it.

For nearly two decades, Schuylkill United Way has been helping kids get ready to hit the classroom.

"The parents already have a burden on them for sneakers and tops and skirts and other things that they need to go to school," Kell Malong, executive director of Schuylkill United Way said. "So the Schuylkill United Way saw that need many, many years ago and we're hopefully filling that need."

During the month of July, Schuylkill United Way placed 45 drop-off bins throughout the county, urging the public to donate school supplies for underprivileged students. As part of the United Way's "Stuff the Bus" campaign, the nonprofit organization filled bookbags with those supplies so that more than 1,000 students would have the necessary items to kick off the school year.

"We have a lot of families that may be living paycheck to paycheck or just really struggling financially, so their kids going back to school can add the extra strain to their budget," Brad Harris of the Pottsville Salvation Army said. "So it does help the parents. It helps relieve some of that pressure, but also with the kids, I'm sure they enjoy getting a fresh new backpack with the supplies in it."

As for the final tally, Schuylkill United Way was able to fill more than 1,600 backpacks. All of them will go to students in need across Schuylkill County.

"It's a good thing, and when they have their choice and the students get to pick from the bookbags, the kids are happy, the parents are relieved, and it takes a burden off them. We're grateful for the United Way," Iris Staff of Salisbury Behavioral Health said.

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