On July 23, Waterloo police Chief Barry Larkin issued a challenge to all emergency services personnel to donate backpacks, gift cards and other school supplies to Waterloo Family & Children’s Services (FCS) for kids going back to school.
A year ago, there were over 600 backpacks distributed to help needy children in the region get a fresh start as they head back to school.
Larkin’s challenge was met and surpassed by a wide margin with the help of emergency service personnel along with others throughout the community such as Avery Canada, Mabel’s Labels, Chartwell Retirement Residences, NAPA Auto Parts and Cheer Sport Sharks.
And on Monday morning, the Kitchener Knights of Columbus showed up at a Waterloo police station with a further 500 backpacks.
In all, the #backpackchallenge, collected more than 1,400 backpacks, $4,500 in gift cards, hundreds of Mabels Labels and 3,000 Avery school supply items, among other things.
“We are incredibly pleased at the outpouring of support from members of the community and our fellow emergency service workers,” Larkin said in a statement. “The amount of donations we received exceeded all of our expectations and speaks volumes about the kindness of our community.
On Monday, Waterloo police delivered the backpacks to FCS, the Chandler Mowat Community Centre and Front Door.
“We’re just making sure that the backpacks get to help children as they go back to school,” Waterloo police spokesperson Cherri Greeno said.