Volunteers fill backpacks with supplies for students in time for new school year

Hampden County

SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – A dedicated team of volunteers from Americorps and western Massachusetts companies spend Tuesday filling 2,200 backpacks with more than 15,000 donated school supply items ranging from pencils to notebooks.

People from throughout New England donated the supplies during the Stuff the Bus campaign. United Way supplied the backpacks from cash donations. The backpacks will go to children of homeless families.

Filling the backpacks provides volunteers with a worthwhile experience while fulfilling their commitment to provide days of community service.

“It’s a wonderful feeling, and it’s great because I’m fairly new to this,” Mike Sweeney said. “I get to jump right into having some real impact.”

Samira Abdul-Karin, who used a community service day to be here told 22News, “This is very rewarding. I love giving back so it’s definitely an awesome initiative to be part of.”

There are specific items in the backpacks for elementary school students, as well as for those attending middle school. High school students will receive specialized backpacks as well.

This work has to be completed by Thursday to meet Friday’s distribution deadline at schools in Springfield, Holyoke, Chicopee, West Springfield, and Westfield.

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