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Back-To-School Backpack Project

CEDAR RAPIDS, IA (CBS2/FOX28)-- Area ogranizations teamed up to provide families in need the chance to have a backpack and supplies for the school year.

For soon-to-be kindergartener, Creslin, he couldn't be more excited for his first day of school.

But his mom, Sarah Anderson, is counting her blessings before he steps inside a classroom.

"It actually means a lot to me. We really don't have a lot of money," Anderson said.

Anderson said she can't thank the Salvation Army enough for making sure her son starts the school year off right.

"Knowing we have the extra support in the community means a lot to me because if it wasn't for this place we probably wouldn't have a backpack for him."

The Salvation Army teamed up with Cedar Rapids West Rotary Club and other organizations to hand out backpacks at the downtown Salvation Army.

Families like Sarah's are what motivates volunteers to hand out the backpacks and school supplies.

"There are so many kids in our community that need help," Salvation Army Director of Development and Communications Lia Pontarelli said.

"School supplies is just one mroe burden for these parents and really each year the cost keeps going up to send your kid to school," she said.

Organizers said they gave away more than 1,600 backpacks Saturday to students who will be starting kindergarten or going into their senior year.

Volunteers have been handing out backpacks for 17 years, but this year they were able to hand out more backpacks than they have in the past.

"School is something that families should be excited about. Kids should be excited and the parents shouldn't be stressed about it," Pontarelli said.

The Cedar Rapids Rotary Club raised $10,000 dollars to provide the 2,000 backpacks.

To grab a backpack before they are gone, you can go to the Salvation Army located at 1000 C Ave NW or call 319-364-9131.

Here is their website:

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