This year, the back-to-school time has a whole different feel and a somewhat murky path ahead. But here in our state, children are going back to learning next month. As if these times weren't stressful enough already, this time of year can add to emotional and financial pressures on families.

This is where the Helpline Center and the rest of us come in. This week's DIY (Do-It-Yourself) Project is Back-to-School Backpacks.

Thousands of children start a new school year without having the essential supplies they need to succeed. By buying a backpack, filling it with school supplies, and donating it, you are helping these children over a major hurdle.

The backpacks don't have to be expensive and many stores display lists of the supplies children in the area schools need.

The Helpline Center does, however, have a supplies idea list:

  • Backpack
  • Pencils
  • Pencil case
  • Pink erasers
  • Elmer's Glue and/or Glue sticks
  • Crayons and markers
  • Notebooks
  • Loose Leaf paper
  • Folders
  • Rulers
  • Kid-friendly scissors
  • Kleenex
  • Clorox wipes
  • Hand sanitizer

Just fill the backpack with supply items, add an encouraging note or card, and call 211 to find out who is accepting the supply backpacks for distribution.

Every week throughout the summer the Helpline center has a different DIY project for people to do with family or friends. They can be done at any time and then delivered to organizations that are in need.

Also this week there are numerous volunteer opportunities including these.

  • Bishop Dudley Hospitality House - Every other Friday they need someone who can help with an entertainment event, like bingo or a movie matinee.
  • The Center of Hope - Needs people who can help clean the building by vacuuming, dusting, taking out the trash, and more.

For more information about the Summer DIY Projects and hundreds of other volunteer opportunities, or if you need help yourself, call 211, see the Helpline Center online, or on Facebook.

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