Filling the backpacks

CALUMET – Going back to school requires student supplies, for which some families may have trouble paying, so the members of the New Beginning Angel Mission in Calumet have been filling that need for about six years.

Terry Bazin, who along with Lynn Lanyon is co-director of the Angel Mission, said the organization fills backpacks with school supplies and gives them to children whose parents registered to receive them.

“The need just keeps getting bigger and bigger,” Bazin said.

Last year, Bazin said the Angel Mission gave away 246 supply-filled backpacks, and she expects that number will increase by about 7 percent this year. Currently, they have about 220 backpacks, and 110 are filled.

“We need backpacks for all ages and genders,” she said.

Bazin said Angel Mission needs age- and gender-appropriate backpacks and supplies for students from pre-kindergarten to college age.

The items needed include binders, spiral notebooks, notebook paper, pens, pencils, pencil sharpeners, pencil boxes, rulers, safety scissors, and folders.

“We have a list of what each grade needs,” she said. “We try to keep them grade appropriate.”

Some needed items which are new to the program are hand sanitizers and textbook covers, which are required for some students.

Registration for the backpacks closed July 31, Bazin said. However, after school starts and parents have a child or children still in need of supplies, they can check with the Angel Mission to see if any items are still available.

Monetary donations for the backpack program will be accepted, also, Bazin said. last year, Angel Mission members had to pay about $300 to get all the needed supplies.

Bazin said all students who come to Angel Mission will get what supplies they need.

“I’m positive we’re going to fill them all,” she said. “We will not let any kid down.”

To learn about donating backpacks, school supplies or money for the Angel Mission backpack program, call co-directors Terry Bazin at 370-9240 or Lynn Lanyon at 934-3602.