Elks donate 100 backpacks to YMCA campers

SOUTH KINGSTOWN -- As the start of the school year looms around the corner, many students will enter the classroom feeling prepared thanks to generous donations from the Elks Club. 

One-hundred South County YMCA campers, from preschool to eighth-grade, each went home with a backpack filled with school supplies on Wednesday. For the third consecutive year, the South Kingstown Elks have been able to send children off the school feeling ready for the new year thanks to collaborations and partnerships with members of the local community, according to John Patrick Shanley. 

“It’s a general effort,” Shanley said. “Everyone gets together and we do it.”

The event would not be possible without charitable donations, he said. The backpacks, for example, all come from Ocean State Job Lot, but the contents of the bags come from donations made by Elks Club members. Though the contents vary depending on the age and grade level of the campers, students head back to school with notebooks, pencils, pads or even crayons for the littlest campers. Bank Rhode Island and the Washington Trust Company also donated pens, and one new Elks member even donated calculators to all of the middle-school-aged campers, according to Shanley. 

South County YMCA Operations Director Lisa Kennedy sang the praises of the South Kingstown Elks and expressed her gratitude for how much the partnership means for the campers.

“We’re really appreciative of it -- especially the families,” she said. “A lot of kids don’t have the means to get the things that they need, so this helps them get a jumpstart.”

 

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