Two thousand Kansas City Boys and Girls Clubs kids will have new backpacks stuffed with all the school supplies they need this August, thanks to the efforts of volunteers on Wednesday.
Several of them, including some local McDonald’s owners, spent the day at the Thornberry Boys and Girls Club stuffing the backpacks with school supplies, also donated by local businesses to Boys and Girls Clubs.
The backpacks and school supply donations are organized every year by Boys and Girls Clubs, where officials said they were shocked by the amount of donations this year. Joe Carignan, director of volunteer and alumni services for the Thornberry club, said he hopes every student they serve who needs school supplies will get them.
He said the kids keep trying to peek at the school supplies and call dibs on specific backpacks, which are bright colors like pink, turquoise, red and green. Small details like the colors added another layer of excitement for the students, Carignan said.
He said the backpacks help provide normalcy for kids whose families wouldn’t be able to afford them otherwise.
“To see a kid with a new backpack, there’s a lot of pride in that moment,” Carignan said. “That’s their backpack.”
The Thornberry club is the largest of the area clubs and serves about 600 kids in the summer as part of its “arctic blast” program, which helps prepare students for the next grade level and combat idleness during the summer.
The school supplies and backpacks are the final send-off from the program, Carignan said.
“We want to send these kids into their next year with confidence,” Carignan said.
The backpacks come courtesy of McDonald’s Heart of America Co Op, a group of Midwestern McDonald’s owners who are also donating an additional 5,000 backpacks and water bottles to Kansas City Public Schools.
Karen Resinger was one Kansas City McDonald’s owner who came out to stuff backpacks.
“I’m excited to help out the kids of Kansas City,” Resinger said. “They deserve a great educational start with the right tools just like every other child.”