Backpack giveaway Wednesday

Tuesday, August 2, 2016
Pat Sitzman, left, and Carmen Goodwin fill cart after cart with back-to-school items as part of the Southwest Nebraska backpack giveaway. The giveaway will take place Wednesday from 3-5:30 p.m. at McCook Christian Church. More than 100 backpacks are available to kids with a limit of two packbacks per family. There is no financial requirement nor must the child live in McCook. The program is funded in part from a grant from the McCook Community Foundation Fund, as well as support from the Salvation Army. (Courtesy photo)

McCOOK, Neb. -- The start of school is still a few weeks away, but that didn't keep Pat Sitzman and Carmen Goodwin from shopping for several hours Monday as they prepare for the annual Southwest Nebraska backpack giveaway.

The annual giveaway will be Wednesday from 3-5:30 p.m. at McCook Christian Church, 507 West B Street. While there is a limit of two backpacks per family, there are no financial-need requirements and the family does not have to be from McCook. The giveaway is open to all families in Southwest Nebraska and Northwest Kansas.

The backpacks include everything from pens and pencils, to calculators and deodorant, and are specifically prepared for younger and older students.

The backpack giveaway is funded in part from a grant from the McCook Community Foundation Fund. The grant was part of MCFF's spring grants, which totaled more than $17,000.

Other organizations which received grants from MCFF this spring were the Red Willow County Extension Office for the Marketing Hometown America program, Habitat for Humanity's 2016 project, CASA's new advocacy program for older youth and Lutheran's Family Service's youth diversion program. Upcoming programs include Hear Nebraska's Good Living Tour concert on Sunday evening at Barnett Park, the Heritage Days Caleb Holly concert and the Nebraska Art Teachers Association Fall 2016 conference to be held in McCook.

Since 2003, MCFF has provided more than $250,000 to support community organizations and projects ranging from the McCook Toy Box and the Kelley Creek Walking Trail to the McCook City Library and the Keystone Business Center. MCFF is an affiliated fund of the Nebraska Community Foundation.

The next round of MCFF grants will be given this fall with an application deadline of Oct. 1, 2016.

And speaking of fall, kids may not like all this about back-to-school shopping. But it wasn't all sunshine and smiles for Pat and Carmen, as they prepared for the most daunting task of the day....standing at the checkout stand while six grocery carts worth of supplies were scanned.

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