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Student Launches Backpack Drive for N.J. Storm Victims

Kids in shelters in New Jersey are working without the school supplies they need, after Hurricane Sandy destroyed their homes.

When Laci Olivia contacted the American Red Cross to help with Hurricane Sandy relief, she found out students in New Jersey need basic school supplies.

After speaking with a volunteer working at the Red Cross Shelter in Tuckerton, N.J., she learned something surprising.

"The students there are without the necessary supplies for school, including backpacks, notebooks, pencils…" said Olivia, a student at Delaware Valley College.

"These are all things that we take for granted, but to a child they represent normalcy, especially if you will be attending a new school due to your family’s home literally being washed away."

She is spearheading a project to put together backpacks for these kids containing:

  • Three notebooks
  • Two folders
  • Five pencils in a pencil case
  • A package of crayons
  • A lunchbox
  • A ruler

“People were severely affected by Hurricane Sandy,” said Olivia. “Many people have lost businesses, their homes, and in some cases even family members. Many organizations and individuals have made substantial efforts towards helping those affected by the storm. We really need to get involved in helping those displaced pick up the pieces.”

Olivia said donations of clothing, blankets, nonperishables, and other supplies are pouring in at shelters, but the need for school supplies has not yet been addressed.

She will deliver the backpacks to the Red Cross Shelter in Tuckerton, N.J. on Sunday, Nov. 18.

How to help:

Grab some friends and put a backpack together.

Please bring all completed backpacks to House 1 (the first house on the right if you come in the New Britain Road entrance to the College) by Thursday, Nov. 15.

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