Huge turnout, big donations at Newscenter 16's annual 'pack-a-backpack'

By: Newscenter 16 Email
By: Newscenter 16 Email

As the first day of school approaches, many families feel the pressure to provide their children with the things they need to succeed in school.

Newscenter 16's pack-a-backpack helps take some of the burden off during tough financial times by collecting school supplies throughout Michiana for those in need.

A rainbow peaked through the clouds to kick off a donation drive going 12 years strong.

Lisa Ferris, who donated was in attendance at Saturday’s event. “I always look forward to when I can go shopping and make the kids happy for when school starts,” she said.

Pencils notebooks and crayons were just some of the ingredients to make a child smile as they head back to school.

Congressman Joe Donnelly (D) was also in attendance. “I always remember when I started school having a new pencil its like you won the Olympics or something,” he said. “Chance to share some of these little items”

Newscenter 16 anchors and reporters camped out at locations throughout Michiana to help collect materials.

All the way from Goshen to Plymouth....St. Joe and South Bend.

"We have a lot fo students that are less fortunate so this probably helps them so that they are prepared for start of school year," said one woman in attendance.

Dozens of volunteers on hand ready to sort, organize and have a little fun.

Trunks filled with goodies to help those in need.

Digger Phelps made a $5,000 donate. “In this country there’s 100 million Americans receiving some kind of welfare benefits, some in Michiana are in denial. They won’t admit, more than ever we need you now,” he said.

And thanks to generous donations, more kids will go back to school feeling ready to take on the year ahead.

In total, money-wise, we brought in more than $18,000 in cash donations.

Volunteers are now working to sort through all of the backpacks and school supplies that came in and will be doing so well into next week.

But no matter what we brought in, the need always outpaces what we're able to collect in one day so if you'd like to help out, you can still drop off supplies at WNDU.

We'll be accepting donations throughout the next week.

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