Heading back to school doesn’t look quite like we are used to, but that doesn’t mean the need for school supplies has gone away. The Buckner Family Hope Center at Bachman Lake worked with volunteers to provide the annual back-to-school backpack distribution, despite the pandemic, with new precautions in place.
More than 180 families lined up last week to receive backpacks for their children.
Adhering to CDC guidelines, this contactless backpack distribution was made complete with protective gear and hand sanitizer. Buckner staff directed the drive-thru lanes and placed backpacks out for families to grab while maintaining socially distancing protocols.
Nearly 600 children in elementary and junior high were able to kick off the new school year with a backpack.
Elementary school backpacks included supplies such as construction paper, glue, crayons, markers, scissors, hand sanitizer and more. For junior high students, they were given notebook paper, folders, pens, binders and more.
This backpack blessing was made possible with the help of Operation Backpack: the virtual volunteer initiative Buckner implemented over the summer to collect school supplies despite the pandemic. Volunteers and organizations picked up empty backpacks, filled them with supplies and returned them.
“We are excited to serve families during this time. The COVID-19 crisis has placed an extraordinary amount of stress on the families we serve. Some have had hours cut and some have lost jobs,” said Candace Gray, Buckner senior executive director for North East Texas. “We are happy to relieve some of their burden by meeting a very practical need. We want to encourage the families to keep moving forward with education despite the barriers.”
While starting a new school year in the middle of a pandemic feels very different, the Family Hope Center at Bachman Lake helped families feel a little bit of normalcy through simple school supplies.