“Love in a Backpack” project gives supplies to inmates released from jail

Franklin County

GREENFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – Volunteers filled backpacks for people being released from jail in Franklin County.

The event on Tuesday held at the Pavilion at Green River Swimming/Rec Area on Nash’s Mill Road in Greenfield involved volunteers to fill 50 backpacks with supplies donated by community members such as snacks, toiletries, basic supplies, as well as hand-written notes of encouragement. For the second year, the project is hosted by St. John’s Church in Ashfield called “Love in a Backpack.”

The Franklin County Sheriff’s Office Re-entry Team will distribute backpacks to people returning to the community from the House of Correction. 

“This transition can be very difficult and knowing they have support from the community gives these women and men hope that a new life is possible. These donations are a way citizens can directly impact life-changing work,” said Franklin County Sheriff Christopher J. Donelan.

In a news release sent to 22News from Community Action Pioneer Valley included quotes from two people who had previously received backpacks:

  • “I had left jail in Greenfield with absolutely nothing besides the clothes on my back. The backpack made me feel a lot better, especially being far away from my family and with not much money.” 
  • “The first thing I used in the backpack was the journal.  It was a lifeline being able to write my feelings during that scary transition time.”   

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