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Back to School RI Gives Backpacks to Local Students

volunteer sorts through bins of backpacks

— Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

On August 21, more than 75 AARP volunteers including members of the RI Retired Teachers Association and local AARP chapters helped local students when they joined with volunteers from 17 other community organizations to participate in the Annual Back to School RI Backpack distribution event.  

This event provides 16,000 school children from diverse and low-income families with back packs stuffed with necessary school supplies to start their school year prepared to learn. The children were accompanied by parents and/or guardians who assisted the children with the back packs.

The back packs had been previously stuffed in late July at the Providence Journal Warehouse by more than 250 volunteers from all over the state.

Eleven sites around the state were selected to be distribution centers for the filled back packs. They included:

  • Veteran’s Memorial Elementary
  • Bernard F. Norton School
  • Sullivan Elementary
  • Pawtucket Red Sox
  • Hope High School
  • Nathanael Greene Middle School
  • Parent Information and Student Registration
  • United Way
  • West End Community Center
  • Wakefield Hills Elementary
  • St. James Baptist Church

Community resource tables from cooperating organizations were staffed with volunteers. AARP RI resource tables held information available on the State Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), Health Care Reform Implementation and Social Security information. All materials were in both English and Spanish.
Jorge Cardenas, a member of the Executive Council of AARP RI along with Sodexo, the founder of Back to School RI arranged for the water and refreshments supplied to all 11 distribution sites.

For more volunteer opportunities please check out Create the Good.

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