The new school year is getting closer and there are over 400 families in Merrill that do not have the resources necessary to provide their young children with basic school supplies. 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 again collaborating to fill backpacks for those K-5 students in need. Letters will be going out later this month or in early August to families that meet federal guidelines for free lunch.
Donations of new supplies and financial contributions are needed to make the backpack project work. New school supplies can be dropped off at River Valley Bank and Walmart. Items needed include: primary color wide ruled notebooks, primary color folders, highlighters, glue sticks, boxes of 24 crayons, colored pencils, washable and regular markers, school glue, small erasers that fit on pencils, red pens, pencil cases, and No. 2 pencils. Especially needed are the backpacks themselves. Any new backpack appropriate for children in grades K-6 is appreciated.
Tax-deductible contributions can be mailed to MFTHCI-Backpacks, P.O. Box 793, Merrill  WI  54452. Backpacks will be distributed in the PRMS cafeteria on Aug. 16, so supplies will be needed by Aug. 12.
The backpack project is unable to take used school supplies, so please contact other charitable organizations to make those donations.
If you have questions about the Backpack Project, please contact Debi McGregor with the Family Resource Center at (715) 539-9228 or Linda Becker at (715) 873-4564.