When the school year starts in the fall, CROSS is determined to make sure that children of all ages are ready. One of the many ways CROSS is able to help is the distribution of backpacks filled with supplies for the beginning of school.
“This year, we anticipate needing approximately 800 backpacks fully loaded for children of all ages to be distributed to children within the four school districts we serve,” said Elizabeth Johnson, Executive Director of CROSS Services. “We are blessed for the support we received from the community this time of the year.”
Donating is easy, she explained, and items are needed now. There are several sites where businesses and churches are accepting these donations, including Menards in Maple Grove through Aug. 31, KinderCare in Rogers Aug. 7-15, Dawn Foods in Rogers through Aug. 11, Maple Grove JC Penney and Northridge Fellowship in Rogers.
The Maple Grove JC Penney store is also doing a “buy the backpack off my back” promotion that has associates walking around with backpacks that they are inviting shoppers to purchase for $7 that will go directly to the CROSS drive. This promotion will run through Labor Day or until they sell out.
People may also check with their local churches in case they might also be collecting.
In addition to backpacks, the items that children need are small packs of color pencils, markers, yellow highlighters, white Elmer’s glue, watercolors, pencil boxes and erasers. Also needed are 7-inch scissors, spiral notebooks (college/wide-ruled), loose-leaf paper, pocket folders, flash drives, and pencil sharpeners with a cover.
“It is so heart-warming to see the excitement of a child and their family when they get to pick out their own backpack filled with school supplies,” said Johnson. “We can give all children and equal opportunity to start school feeling excited and prideful. How cool is that?”
School supply donations may be brought to the places listed above and to CROSS headquarters at 12915 Weinand Circle in Rogers. Check the website at www.CROSSservices.org for hours.
CROSS is a non-profit organization serving families and individuals living in Maple Grove, Osseo, Rogers, Champlin (west), Corcoran and Dayton. In addition to the backpack program, CROSS provides clients an in-house food store, clothing store, housing assistance, Meals on Wheels, and support for children’s school, birthday and holiday needs.
More information about donating, volunteering, fundraisers and more is available on the website, on Facebook, and at 763-425-1050. All donations are tax-deductible.