Operation Backpack is preparing for the fifth annual backpack distribution in Oskaloosa.
This program provides backpacks and school supplies to students in need in Mahaska County. And that need is increasing. Last year, more than 500 backpacks were distributed.
In order to help meet the growing need in the community, a school supply drive will be hosted in businesses and churches. The drive culminates on July 31 from 11a.m. To 1 p.m. when the supplies will all be brought to the Hy-Vee parking lot and we’ll “Stuff the Bus.”
There are public donation boxes as well as internal business drive boxes available from July 15 through July 31. If you would like to donate, look for boxes at Assembly of God Church, Bank Iowa, Cablevey Conveyors, Cargill, Dollar General, Evangelical Church, Fareway, First Christian Church, Hawkeye Real Estate, Imagine the Possibilities, ITW Paslode, Kids Corner Childcare, Mahaska County Outreach, Mahaska Title, Mahaska YMCA, Maple Ridge, MidWest One Bank, Musco, Oskaloosa Vision Center, Peek-a-Boo Point Childcare, SCICL, Smokey Row, St. Mary’s Catholic Church, TD&T Financial Group, United Methodist Church, United Way, Wal-Mart, William Penn University.
If you’re interested in receiving a backpack for your child, applications are available at SIEDA’s office (114 North Market). Eligible applications will be funded until funding has been exhausted. Applications are due on July 31. The applications are also available at Love INC, the Salvation Army, SEIDA and United Way, and in the Oskaloosa Herald and Shopper. Families who make less than 200 percent of federal poverty guidelines are welcome to apply.
Stop by one of the above locations to drop off supplies or you can send tax-deductible monetary donations in person or by mail to: Operation Backpack, c/o United Way, 500 High Ave. W., Oskaloosa, Iowa 52577.
Volunteers will be needed to July-August to help sort supplies and prepare the backpacks. If you’d like to commit to helping ready children to start learning on their first day of school, contact United Way at (641) 673-6043 to get involved.