Operation Backpack kicks off supply drive to help local kids

Staff Writer
Woodford Times

Heartline’s annual “Operation Backpack” school supply drive is gearing up to help those in our community who need help with back-to-school supplies.

They will begin sign-ups on July 2, and begin taking donations for new school supplies or monetary donations as well.

Parents who need help with school supplies and live in Woodford County should call the Heartline office at 467-6101 and set up an appointment with Brandi Gerber. The only requirement is the family needs to reside in Woodford County. Children need to live in the home of the person signing them up.

Sign up appointments will be held between July 2 and July 17, and the backpack distribution will be held July 31.

Last year Operation Backpack provided 229 children in Woodford County with school supplies.

This number has increased from 2009 when 192 children received supplies. Heartline cannot provide such a generous service without the support of the community members and businesses in Woodford County.

Tazwood Community Services partners with Heartline to assist with an established program in Woodford County. However, Heartline still needs the community support to supply the growing number of families in need.

There are two ways citizens can help. If citizens would like to purchase and donate school supplies, they can call the Heartline office at 467-6101 to receive a list of needed items.

Operation Backpack strives to provide children with supplies required by respective schools and the child(s) grade in school, and any brand requirements a school may request.

Volunteers are needed July 25 to sort and count all the donations and then again on July 30 to pack the backpacks.

Call Brandi Gerber to sign up to volunteer. Individuals and groups are welcome.

Supply drop off locations will be the Heartline office from 8 a.m.-4 p.m. Monday through Friday, as well as all Woodford County Community Banks, Goodfield State Bank and Curves in Eureka, Goodfield State Bank in Goodfield and Curves in Metamora.

Drop off donations by July 23.

Monetary donations will also be accepted to help with the purchasing of the necessary supplies.

Interested donors can call the office, or mail a check to Heartline at 300 Reagan Drive in Eureka.

Heartline is a nonprofit organization in Eureka that provides services to help meet basic needs of those in the Woodford County community. Heartline relies on fundraising events and individual and organizational donations, and does not receive any government funding. For more information call 467-6101 or visit the website at www.heartlineandhearthouse.org.

— Submitted by Brandi Gerber