The Turlock Seventh-Day Adventist Church, is beginning its second year of fundraising and collection of donations for Project Backpack. The goal of Project Backpack is to distribute more than 500 backpacks to Turlock school children in need.
Half of the students in the school system in Turlock qualify for the reduced/free lunch program based on the low-income status of their household. One-third of those students, over 4,200, live below the federal guidelines for poverty level. There are 130 homeless families with children in school in Turlock, and over 500 children who live out of the home with caregivers.
Last year, Project Backpack distributed over 500 backpacks to those families.
"Obviously, we didn't even put a dent in trying to fill the need. I think we should set the bar in our community for how we should love and care for each other. At any given time, most of us live one payday away from being homeless, should something happen to our job or our ability to work," said Brenda Proetel, director of Project Backpack. "I would like to challenge each person on my friends list to begin to think about what you can do. You may be able to donate money or backpacks and supplies. Some of you may say you're already having a hard time and can't donate money or supplies, but you can donate time. Project Backpack is a community outreach program, and the entire community is invited to participate."
Monetary donations can be made payable to Turlock SDA Church (Project Backpack), 2400 N. Olive Ave., Turlock, CA 95382. Donations can also be made online at https://www.adventistgiving.org/login/Login.aspx - there is a tab there for Project Backpack.
Donations of backpacks or school supplies can also be dropped off at the church.
Project Backpack distribution will take place from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. on July 29 at the Turlock Seventh Day Adventist Church.
For more information, contact the church office at 632-2426 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.