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Letter: A community-based initiative

Published: Saturday, Sept. 7, 2013 5:30 a.m. CDT

To the Editor:

The need for community philanthropy is tremendous. I want to thank everyone who contributed to and supported this year’s Project Backpack held at Elgin Community College’s Spartan Drive Campus. 

On Aug. 10, we distributed more than 1,800 new backpacks filled with pencils, folders, notebooks, pens, paper, scissors, crayons and rulers donated by individuals, retailers, churches and community organizations. Though the advertised hours were from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., family members began lining up at 10 p.m. the previous night!  It is estimated that – by 10 a.m. the next morning, when the doors opened – some 4,000 people were waiting with anticipation.

Project Backpack is a community-based initiative led by ECC to benefit needy families in ECC’s District 509, which includes school districts U-46, 300, 301 and 303. This year, the Northern Illinois Food Bank joined our efforts and supplied families with approximately 3,000 bags of non-perishable food items.

In addition to receiving bags of food and backpacks, families had the opportunity to interact with representatives from more than two dozen community agencies.

Since ECC started Project Backpack, we have distributed close to 7,000 backpacks. This would not be possible without you. Dr. Katie Storey, in our Student Life office, works with dozens of ECC students and local volunteers who spend hours, weeks and months organizing this wonderful event each year. But we must not stop here.

Let us all continue to support our children by donating school supplies to local schools and shelters throughout the year. By doing so, we can play a role in the success of future doctors, lawyers, CEOs, teachers, engineers and the like. Our children need our continued support.

Once again, on behalf of all children, I sincerely thank you.

Dr. David Sam

President of Elgin Community College

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