School supply drives planned

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Photo provided Beloit Cares holds a backpack drive. Beloit Cares will give out backpacks with supplies from 10 a.m. to noon on Aug. 24 at Riverside Park, Jones Pavilion. Pre-registration is required.

BELOIT - There will be several options to get affordable backpacks and school supplies before the school year begins thanks to many helping hands in the community.

Culver's Assistant Manager Josh Lock said Backpack Saturday, a joint effort between Culver's and Central Christian Church, will be held Aug. 10.

People can pay $5 to get a backpack full of supplies geared toward the grade of their child. The event is held outside of Culver's at 2676 Cranston Road.

The event starts at 11 a.m. and runs until 2 p.m. or as long as supplies last. The event usually provides more than 100 backpacks.

Those who want to get the $5 backpacks will need to provide proof their student will be attending a school in the Greater Beloit Area. Lock said it's a busy day for Culver's, with people usually lining up before 10 a.m.

Beloit Cares will give out backpacks with supplies from 10 a.m. to noon on Saturday, Aug. 24 at the Jones Pavilion in Riverside Park. There will be games, a dunk tank, a free lunch, music and more including Snappy. Children will have the opportunity to check out a fire engine thanks to the Beloit Fire Department and a police squad thanks to the Beloit Police Department. Community Health System, Family Promise, Safe Families, the School District of Beloit and the Beloit Domestic Violence Survivor Center and many other organizations will be on hand to talk to families about services and resources they provide.

Beloit Cares' backpacks are available for $7 each. Parents/guardians should register and pay online at www.beloitlifecenter.com/back-2-school-bash. Families wishing to pay in cash should contact Beloit Cares at beloitcares@gmail.com or call 608-313-5135. Pre-registration is required.

Donations can be sent to: Beloit Life Center, 2170 Murphy Woods Road, Beloit, WI 53511.

Beloit Cares Director Sarah Hawthorne said Beloit Cares looked at the list of supplies required by the School District of Beloit list and were able to get everything on it. The backpacks are sorted by grade and valued at about $50 to $75.

"We have 300 backpacks and I expect them to get all get passed out," Hawthorne said.

Hawthorne said offering the backpacks for $7 was a way to help people in a proactive way. After a price-tag was put on the backpacks, Hawthorne said more fathers became involved in helping to obtain the backpacks.

"We look at it as a hand up and not a hand out," she said.

Hawthorne said the event is always a fun day.

"It's like the last hurrah for summer," she said. "We ask other non-profits to be able to interact with families in a positive way. We typically have a police car, sheriff and fire truck."

School District of Beloit Public Information Officer Brian Vissers said the district also receives substantial donations of backpacks and school supplies which are distributed out to all of the schools.

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