The United Way of San Benito County is collecting school supplies and backpacks to donate to low-income children in San Benito. The Office of Education will select students and distribute the backpacks.

While residents with school-aged children are focusing on replenishing their stock of class supplies before the fall semester begins on Aug. 19, the United Way of San Benito County has launched a drive to collect those same items for low-income families in the community.
Several United Way chapters on the Central Coast have been collecting through the “Stuff the Bus” drive since June, while San Benito’s members decided to pull together a local drive last week. There are donation locations set up at several local businesses; including some where people can purchase school supplies such as Kmart, Staples and Target. The bus-shaped donation boxes are also set up at Round Table, the YMCA of San Benito County and Rabobank. A list of needed supplies is available at each location, with backpacks topping the priorities.
On Aug. 10, volunteers will be in the Target Parking lot from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., with a school bus to help finish up the drive efforts. Those who want to donate will be able to drop off backpacks or supplies at the school bus.
Locals who would like to contribute can also sponsor a backpack for $25, which will come complete with $60 worth of supplies.
When United Way volunteers met with officials from the San Benito County Office of Education in recent weeks, school officials said they would identify which children will receive the backpacks this year and distribute them to families.
Diane Barr, who is helping to coordinate the drive for the United Way, said they plan to make the drive an annual event. In Santa Cruz, where it started earlier in the summer, they have 100 drop off locations and have collected more than 1,000 backpacks.
For more information, visit the United Way office at 350 Fifth St., in Hollister or call Diane Barr at (831)245-6330.

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A staff member wrote, edited or posted this article, which may include information provided by one or more third parties.


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