Back College Collects School Backpacks For At-Risk Children

From the Life West News Service

HAYWARD, Calif. August 30, 2001 – For the fifth straight year, the students, staff, and faculty of Life Chiropractic College West worked together collecting numerous new backpacks for local at-risk children who were returning to school.

Kids show off their new backpacksThe Life West Annual BACKpack Drive was held in conjunction with the Family Emergency Shelter Coalition’s (FESCO) (a local homeless shelter) School Supply Drive. Life West collected backpacks for kids (5-18), while other local organizations and businesses donated school supplies to stuff the packs: pencils, binders, paper, crayons, rulers, etc.

Life West spent the majority of the month of August acquiring backpacks for the drive. Contributions of cash and backpacks were turned in individually by the college’s students, faculty, and staff. In addition, a number of campus organizations-including the Faculty Senate, fraternity, and two sororities-made impressive monetary donations.

“There’s nothing better than watching the kids’ excitement as they pick out their very own school backpack,” said Life Chiropractic College West sophomore Debra Carlson at the school supply distribution, held on August 25. Carlson was one of 15 Life West students who were on hand to help more than 200 kids choose their brand new school backpacks and to individually adjust each child’s backpack straps for ergonomic correctness.

“This event is designed to minimize the financial stress that can occur at back-to-school time for FESCO families who are struggling to maintain independence,” says FESCO Executive Director Nancy Schluntz. “Now a family doesn’t have to choose between paying a utility bill or purchasing the required items for school. Parents and children from pre-kindergarten to college are very grateful for this much needed assistance.”

FESCO is a Hayward based non-profit organization that has been providing food, shelter, counseling, and life-skills to low- and moderate-income families with a goal of keeping them together and moving them toward self-sufficiency. Life West has supported FESCO for a number of years through food, clothing, and school supply drives; provided free health care; taught reading skills to children through the American Reads program; and has made numerous monetary donations. @ 3:07 pm | Article ID: 999209263