Donations being sought for CCS Backpack Bonanza
Friday, Aug. 14, 2020
SALT LAKE CITY — As the beginning of the school year approaches, many families are facing even more challenges than usual in preparing their students.
The coronavirus pandemic has left parents having to decide whether to send their children back to school or have them take online courses, or possibly homeschool them. And, if the students are physically returning to their classrooms, some parents must worry about how to buy school supplies.
Since the pandemic began in March, the State of Utah’s unemployment insurance division has received 268,573 new applications, according to Kevin Burt, the division’s director, marking four years’ worth of applications received in 20 weeks.
To help families in need, Catholic Community Services of Utah is planning its annual Backpack Bonanza.
The goal is to provide 500 children with new backpacks filled with classroom items.
“Now more than ever, it is critical this year to help local kids with school supplies,” said Cynthia Mecklenburg, CCS’ director of communications. “With COVID-19 causing so many financial burdens for families, we want to try to alleviate some additional costs.”
Although CCS has been accepting donations of school supplies since July, “this year we aren’t holding a massive event as we have in the past because of COVID-19,” Mecklenburg said.
Instead, CCS officials will be working with local schools “to make sure that every child has a backpack with school supplies,” she said.
Backpack Bonanza is a once-a-year effort by CCS and community members that benefits children in the Salt Lake area and northern Utah.
This year, the most-needed items are backpacks, paper/notebooks, pens and pencils, erasers, glue, folders and masks, “but we will take all school supply donations,” Mecklenburg said.
In previous years, the distribution was made at CCS locations, but this year “in Salt Lake, backpacks will be distributed through the new Rental Assistance Program that we are offering. In Ogden, the backpacks will be distributed to local schools,” Mecklenburg said.
Backpack Bonanza Donations
Salt Lake City Drop Off Location: 437 W. 200 S., Salt Lake City
Ogden Drop Off Location: 3721 South 250 West #A, Ogden