ESTEVAN - The Estevan Salvation Army started accepting applications for its annual back to school backpack program on July 15, and will continue to do so until Aug. 15.
The program helps lower-income families get kids ready for a new school year.
While they can't provide the students with absolutely everything needed for school, they deliver a number of basic items and a backpack. The program is to help offset the costs for parents.
"We ask that everyone remembers that we do not and cannot supply all the school supplies that the students will need. A backpack and many other items will be provided within those backpacks, ready for pickup on the designated day," said Jane Anne Ireland, who is responsible for community family services with the Salvation Army.
"We will call the ones that have applied and let them know when it gets close to that time. Those that have filled out an application will be the ones that are let known of that date."
She added that while there are no specific numbers for what is categorized as lower-income families, usually people whose monthly income is well below $4,000, give or take, qualify for the program.
"Those that are single-income or lower-income families or with multiple children that are struggling to get things together for school [should apply for the program]," Ireland said.
Items that may be found within the backpack, depending on the grade of the recipient, are loose leaf paper, one-inch and/or two-inch binders, white erasers, rulers, pencils, pens, crayons, markers, Duo-Tangs, exercise books, dividers, glue sticks and a pencil case.
The Salvation Army has a number of backpacks accumulated that they are currently filling up with new items, donated by local businesses and individuals.
The final number of backpacks given out this year will depend on the demand.
"We won't know the number of backpacks going out this year until just before. We just started accumulating items," Ireland said.
They are also accepting donations of any relevant new school items or backpacks for the program. Monetary donations are another option to help them meet the community demand. Any kind of help is appreciated.
"Thank you very much for all those that support everything that we do throughout the year, and for any donations towards this program right now," Ireland said.
The applications can be filled at the Salvation Army's Family Services office between July 15-Aug. 15, Tuesdays to Fridays between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m.
Those that are looking to fill out an application can ask for Ireland or Lynn Russo.