He hugged his backpack, looked up at us with a smile and said, “Now I’m ready to start school!” The little boy had just picked up his backpack full of school supplies and could hardly contain his excitement. We are inviting you to help put that same excited smile on another young person this year.
Merrill Forward Together Healthy Community Initiative, the Optimists, the Lincoln County Family Resource Center, the Lincoln County Extension Office, and the 4-H Ambassadors are collaborating to coordinate a community-wide collection of backpacks and school supplies that will be given to children in grades K-5 on Aug. 24. To qualify, the children must be eligible for free lunch according to federal guidelines. The families served by the Backpack Project are having a hard time simply making ends meet. Without this help, many of these children will start the school year without the basic supplies they need.
We invite you to give in any way that you can. One way to help would be to purchase supplies and drop them in the boxes available at Wal-Mart, Walgreens, or River Valley Bank. We are asking that people avoid purchasing supplies not on the list, so that all backpacks contain the same or very similar items. An additional way to help is to donate a few hours of your time to sort supplies and fill backpacks. Call the number below if you’d like to volunteer.
The most needed item is the backpack itself. We can accept any new backpack appropriate for children in grades K-5. Other needed items in order of what is needed most: primary color wide ruled notebooks and folders, highlighters, boxes of washable markers, boxes of 24 colored pencils, glue sticks, boxes of 24 crayons, pencil cases, school glue bottles, No. 2 pencils, red, black, and blue pens, blunt and pointed scissors, pink erasers, and pencil top erasers. Used supplies cannot be accepted and you are encouraged to donate them to schools or other charitable organizations that take those items.
We have almost 450 backpacks to fill in a short amount of time, so tax-deductible financial contributions are needed to purchase supplies not donated. Checks made payable to MFTHCI – Backpacks can be mailed to P.O. Box 793, Merrill, WI 54452.
I hope we can count on you to be part of this opportunity to reach out to children and families in our community who need our help. If you are able to make a donation, either in cash or items, please do so by Sunday, Aug. 18.
Working Together – We Can Make A Difference. Thank You.
Optimist Club Member
It is a pleasure to watch our city come alive with the color of beautiful flowers during the summer months. The Hanging Flower Basket Committee would like to take this opportunity to thank donors for the year after year support the Project receives from individuals, organizations and businesses. These 100 donations assure the community that baskets of wave petunias will grace lampposts in our business districts and city entrances. We take pride in the enrichment the flowers provide our city.
The committee is not only grateful to our generous donors, but would like to acknowledge the cooperation and assistance received from the Merrill Chamber, Park and Recreation Department, Merrill Street Department and the city of Merrill. The flowers are truly a cooperative effort between several community agencies. Also important to the project are those who water the flowers. Dan Szulczewski faithfully waters all the flowers in Merrill (both basket and flower beds) six days a week and Edmund Truckenbrodt waters on Sunday. The new watering vehicle, which was purchased collectively by the Hanging Flower Basket Committee, Park City Gardens and Park and Recreation Department, has made their job much easier.
Once again, the committee gratefully thanks the community and the city for their support of the Project. Because of that support, our sixth year of beautifying Merrill has been a phenomenal success!
Hanging Flower Basket Committee Chair
On June 11, 27 students from the 8th grade class of 2017 at Prairie River Middle School, along with six adults, traveled to Washington, DC for the end of the year class trip. Time was spent touring the monuments, museums and federal buildings, learning how our government works, as well as its history. We would like to take this opportunity to thank the businesses who help us raise money for our trip: Les & Jim’s Lincoln Lanes, Merrill Ace Hardware and Merrill Federal Savings & Loan. Thanks to the generous support of these local businesses and the community, our trip was a success. Planning for next year’s trip is already underway.