Local kids head off to school prepared, thanks to the Salvation Army and community

Backpacks and clothing vouchers still available for eligible schoolchildren


backpack16webChildren in Venice, Nokomis, Laurel and North Port are heading off to school this semester ready for work thanks to the Salvation Army Venice Corps and community support. Youngsters from eligible families picked out backpacks and school supplies at the corps’ annual Backpack Giveaway and Family Fun Day held August 13. Kids and their families were also treated to a complimentary lunch. There were drawings for prizes and the Gideons were on hand to distribute free bibles. Kids had their faces painted, played in the bounce house and picked up a snack at the popcorn stand. All Faiths Food Bank sent its Eat this Bus where children received free books and a bag full of healthy food to take home.

School supplies were made possible, in part, by donations from Nielsen Media Research Inc., Target of Venice, and area residents. Volunteers from Target and Nielsen joined Salvation Army volunteers and staff in setting up the event and handing out backpacks to the children.

For those who missed it, supply-stuffed backpacks are still available at the Salvation Army offices, 1051 Albee Farm Road, Venice, between the hours of 9 a.m.-noon and 1-4 p.m.backpack11web

To qualify, a parent or guardian must show ID, proof of income eligibility, and a birth certificate for each child in grades K-12. Families will also receive clothing vouchers to use at the Salvation Army Family Store for two outfits per school-age child. Call (941) 484-6227 for more information.