Backpack program: Packing up happy memories 350+ backpacks at a time

Posted on Aug 24 2017 in Kankakee Valley REMC

Most of us can remember back to our first day of school … the smell and feel of sharp crayons fresh out of the box, a new clean backpack (or satchel for some of us older folks), and the perfectly pressed brand new first-day-of-school outfit.

For many youngsters whose parents or guardians cannot afford all the new gear and fashions, those aren’t memories. They’re wish list items that sadly go unfulfilled. But for the fourth year in a row, Kankakee Valley REMC’s “Pack-a-Backpack” program has helped turn wish lists to memories for many students.

Thanks to our consumer/members and others in our community, our backpack program helped over 350 students in 10 schools in the KVREMC service area get a backpack full of those brand new school supplies.

“Back-to-school time can be a tough time financially for many families. Through the Pack-a-Backpack program, we can provide help to families that struggle to afford the basic school supplies,” said Amanda Steeb, director of marketing and communications for the cooperative.

As in past years, local libraries lent a hand by serving as a drop off point for supplies. Collection boxes were placed in the lobbies of libraries in Wanatah, LaCrosse, Union Mills and Kouts. In addition, supplies were collected at the REMC’s annual meeting in April and in the lobby of our headquarters in Wanatah.

As a cooperative, Kankakee Valley REMC is committed to supporting our neighbors we serve. When we all work together, we can accomplish goals on a larger scale than any of us could do alone. It is only with the help of our consumer/members that we can continue our focus on the seventh cooperative principle: concern for community.

The backpack program not only benefits the parents and students financially, but, more importantly, it gives students, some who may be filled with uncertainties and doubts, a big boost in confidence to start off the new school year, noted Steeb. “Through this program, we hope more students have those warm first-day-of-school memories.”