United Way backpacks destined for Chatham-Kent students. Aug. 25 2014 (Photo by Trevor Thompson.)

Backpack Program Ramps Up

The United Way of Chatham-Kent wants to make sure every student has what they need, thanks to the BackPacks for Kids program.

According to CEO Karen Kirkwood-Whyte, if anybody needs a backpack, they should contact the United Way.

“Schools in Chatham-Kent let us know near the end of the year how many they thought they might need,” says Kirkwood-Whyte. “So based on those numbers and based on the bulk purchasing and the donations from employee groups, we have about 1,200 this year.”

The program began in 2001 with just 26 backpacks and has grown every year since. The bags and supplies will be delivered to schools and then handed out from there.