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Program aims to aid Mississippi students

Over 300 students across the state of Mississippi need your help.

Youth Villages, an organization that specializes in children’s mental and behavioral health, is seeking “Backpack Heroes” for more than 300 children who are receiving care throughout the entire state of Mississippi.

The Backpack Heroes program collects school supplies for children who have experienced trauma or have a history of emotional or behavioral health issues so they can start the school year equipped to succeed.

Individuals, families or groups, such as businesses or church congregations, may participate as Backpack Heroes by donating supplies through August 3. Donations can be dropped off Monday through Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. at one of the three Youth Villages offices in the state.

  • 805 S. Wheatley St., Suite 240 in Ridgeland
  • 252 S. Veterans Blvd. in Tupelo
  • 116 N. 40th Ave. in Hattiesburg

Online donations can also be made at www.youthvillages.org/backpacks.

“Ensuring that children are prepared with the necessary tools is vital for success,” said Rachel Hughes, Youth Villages community relations manager. “The Youth Villages Backpack Heroes Campaign guarantees that all school-aged children we serve have the supplies needed to begin the school year. Our goal is to make sure this is an exciting time of year for the children in our care and less stressful for their parents and caregivers.”

To be a Backpack Hero, simply purchase school supplies and backpacks to help a Youth Villages student start the school year off successfully. Heroes can stuff the backpacks themselves, or simply donate any of the items below into the local collection boxes.

• Backpacks

• Pencils

• Black/Blue pens

• Basic/Scientific calculators

• Notebook paper

• Spiral notebooks

• 1-inch, three-ring binder

• Crayons

• Glue

• Glue sticks

• Washable markers

• Colored pencils

• Plastic rulers

• Folders w/ brads & pockets

• Highlighters

• Index cards

• Smudge-free erasers

• Safety scissors

• Subject dividers

• Construction paper

*Youth Villages cannot accept pencil sharpeners, scissors, compasses or metal rulers and protractors

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