Project Backpack, a community effort to get backpacks and supplies into the hands of families of District 509, will look a little different this year. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Elgin Community College is unable to host the event as in years past. The committee has worked to develop an alternative plan for supply delivery to those in need.
“We are disappointed that we cannot have our community event this year,” said Megan Highland, student life coordinator and Project Backpack committee chair. “The team loves to see all the faces of families who come to the event, and we know the social services agencies value the opportunity to network with the community. Ultimately, we had to find a new way to provide the supplies this year, and we’ve landed on distribution through the school districts.”
Monetary donations are needed to help purchase supplies and backpacks, and due to current social distancing guidelines and for the safety and wellbeing of all, no item donations can be accepted in person. “We expect a higher demand than usual due to the economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic,” added Highland. Donations can be made at project-backback.org, and those interested in sponsoring the project can find information about sponsorships on the site as well.
Additionally, Project Backpack will not be able to utilize community volunteers as in years past to help fill the backpacks or distribute them. Project Backpack committee volunteers will fill the backpacks and deliver to local K-12 school districts for distribution to families. There will not be an on-site event at ECC this year.
The Project Backpack Committee is made up of individuals from Elgin Community College, ECC Faculty Association, Community Crisis Center, ECCP3, Kane County Regional Office of Education, Kane County Teachers Credit Union, School District U-46, and Centro de Información. For the most up-to-date information on Project Backpack, like the project on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/ECCProjectBackpack/ and visit project-backpack.org.