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Start Packing! Backpack & School Supply Drive

Local businesses, churches, professional groups, and retirement homes invite their employees, members, and residents to purchase school supplies for children in need. The Marilyn J. Olson Guild at D.A. Blodgett - St. John’s collects, sorts, fills, and delivers the backpacks.

Who will receive these supplies?
More than 500 children currently living in residential care, foster homes, shelter care, or whose families are simply in need of assistance will receive a new backpack filled with school supplies. All children receive services from D.A. Blodgett - St. John’s.

Why school supplies?
The first day of school can be stressful. Many children living in shelter care or in foster homes due to their parents’ abuse or neglect, have few possessions to call their own. Families living in poverty and those with a disabled child appreciate help getting children ready for school. A brand new, fully-stocked backpack helps any child feel more comfortable and confident on their first day of school.

How can you Become a Start Packing Community Partner?
• Purchase school supplies for a needy child from now until the third week of August.
• Invite your friends, co-workers, and customers to get involved!
• Set out a box or container for donations in a prominent place at your work place, church, or neighborhood.
• When the container is full, call (616) 451.2021. We’d be happy to pick it up!
• No time to shop? We’ll shop for you! Send a tax-deductible contribution to us and we’ll do the shopping for you.

The Marilyn J. Olson Guild is a group of dedicated volunteers who collect, sort, and distribute donations of clothing, toys, and other gifts to children in D.A. Blodgett - St. John’s programs throughout the year. Since their first Start Packing drive in 2006, the number of donations and children receiving school supplies has tripled.


What Items Do We Need?
• Spiral Notebooks
• Loose Leaf Paper: 3 Hole Punched or Wide & College Ruled
• 2 - Pocket Folders
• 1 Inch 3 Ring Binders
• Pencil Boxes/Pencil Bags
• Pencils – Colored and Black
• Pens – Red, Blue, Black
• Round Edged Scissors
• Highlighters
• Rulers - 6” and 12”
• Erasers
• Glue Sticks
• Crayons
• Colored Markers
• Graphing Calculators
• Back Packs for children ages 3 to 18 years old


To contact someone for more information about the Start Packing! Backpack and School Supply Drive, click here