NewburyportNews.com, Newburyport, MA

Opinion

October 9, 2013

Thanks for helping to fill 403 backpacks for local kids

To the editor:

The Pettengill House, Inc. would like to extend its sincere thanks to the community for the incredible support we received for our ninth annual Operation Backpack program. This annual backpack and school supplies collection drive is part of Pettengill’s School Link Service program, the goal of which is that all children come to school every day ready to learn. Through the generous donations from schools, businesses, organizations, individuals and families and faith communities, we were able to distribute 403 brand-new backpacks filled with school supplies to local children in need. This brings our nine-year total to over 3,800 backpacks! We will continue to distribute backpacks on an as-needed basis throughout the school year for children in need moving into our community.

In addition to everyone who donated to this program, we would also like to thank our community collection site partners: Amesbury Public Library, Annarosa’s Bakery, Boys and Girls Club of Lower Merrimac Valley, Flatbread Company, Healthcare Complete, Hope Community Church, Institution for Savings, Latitude Sports Clubs, Marshall’s, Newburyport Five Cents Savings Bank, The Provident Bank, Stone Ridge Properties, Stop & Shop, Supercuts, Tom’s Discount, Unity on the River, Walgreens, Walmart, West Newbury Food Mart and YWCA of Greater Newburyport.

A special thanks to our local school partners who were so helpful in providing district-wide communication to families and faculty. Further thanks to area principals Kristina Davis at the Bresnahan Elementary School and Michael Curry at the Amesbury Middle School for providing school-based distribution sites.

Finally, we would like to acknowledge our dedicated volunteers who donated their time and energy to collect, sort and distribute backpacks: Thanks to Courtney Borkowski, Peg Brown, Colin Cavanaugh, Corey Claflin, Stephanie Conover, Amy Estabrook, Barbara Harrington, Lea Healy, Kristin Nelson, Rachel Mace, Dave Mackie, Jean Mercer, Colby Morris, Susanne Murphy, Heather Penny, Zac Rigoli, Donna Scott, Caleb Stott, Ralph Turgeon, Taylor Turgeon and Ricky Whittier.

On behalf of Deborah Smith, executive director, as well as our staff, volunteers and the Board of Directors, I would like to thank everyone who contributed to Operation Backpack. The joint support, generosity and collaboration we received from the community enabled area children to start this year prepared for school and ready to learn.

Megan Hoyt

Case manager, The Pettengill House, Inc.

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