Donations sought for Owens’ ‘Backpack to the Future’ driveWritten by Sarah Ottney | Managing Editor | firstname.lastname@example.org
Like many families, it was a tradition for Laura Moore’s daughters to get new backpacks at the beginning of each new school year.
“Their dad loved to take them to get new backpacks,” said Moore, director of alumni relations for Owens Community College. “Their backpacks were perfectly fine, but it was their fun thing to do together. But then I had these perfectly good, gently used backpacks. That’s how this started.”
Owens’ 11th annual “Backpack to the Future” drive will collect backpacks and school supplies for low-income kindergarten students in Northwest Ohio.
“Without the necessary tools, entry to school is difficult,” Moore said. “Kindergarten is the first entry kids have to school and we want it to be a really positive one.”
Last year, 17 schools in Lucas, Wood and Hancock counties received supplies, including five from Toledo Public Schools.
“The donation by the Owens Alumni Association came at a great time,” said Michelle Pelz, principal at Samuel M. Jones at Gunckel Park Elementary, in an email. “Most of our students are living below the poverty level. Their parents are doing the best they can, but so many of our students still start school in need of just basic school supplies.”
Since 2004, the Owens Alumni Association has given away 3,410 backpacks and 62,370 school supplies. The collection runs through Aug. 18. Drop-off points include:
- Books-A-Million (2105 Levis Commons Blvd., Perrysburg).
- Directions Credit Union branches (5121 Whiteford Road, Sylvania; 3000 Tremainsville Road, Toledo; 3321 Briarfield Blvd., Maumee; 4150 Brockway Drive, Perrysburg; 3312 Dustin Road, Oregon; 2533 S. Reynolds Road, Toledo; 3450 W. Central Ave., Suite 128, Toledo; 27427 Crossroads Pkwy., Rossford; and 1 Owens Corning Pkwy., Toledo).
- Great Lakes Credit Union branches (6600 Sylvania Ave., Sylvania and 580 Craig Drive, Perrysburg).
- Genoa Bank branches (801 Main St., Genoa; 3201 Navarre Ave., Oregon; 703 Conant St., Maumee; 24950 W. State Route 51, Millbury; and 9920 Old U.S. 20, Rossford).
- Owens’ Office of Alumni Relations in Perrysburg, Education Center Atrium in Findlay or the Learning Center in Maumee.
- Items needed include gently-used or new backpacks, crayons, markers, bottles of glue, glue sticks, colored pencils, pencils, pink erasers, school boxes, pocket folders, marbled covered composition books and Kleenex tissues.
“The community support has been tremendous over the past 10 years,” Moore said.