MAINE, USA — 500 backpacks are up for grabs for free at different Verizon Wireless-Zone locations throughout Maine.
The backpacks for students K-12 are stuffed with school supplies.
Becky MacManus is the marketing manager at Bangor's Wireless Zone. She says the store donates the backpacks annually to help local children start a new school year with what they need.
The Backpack Giveaway event takes place this Sunday, August 1 from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. MacManus recommends showing up at any of the participating stores early because there typically is a line.
"Whether it be in-person or virtual, students are still in need of supplies for learning at home," MacManus said.
No questions will be asked at the door when you show up for a backpack and no purchases at the store are necessary to receive one.
"Having a backpack for school is a big deal, and it's really nice to give the kids exactly what they need to start off successfully in the school year, especially now when everything is so uncertain...it feels really good to give the kids what they need," Becky Macmanus said.
Bangor's James F. Doughty school counselor Lauren O'Reilley said having the right school supplies supports the best learning.
"One of the first question's they'll ask is what do we need for school supplies, and I think sometimes it's said with a bit of hesitancy because of the insecurity of what the families have. Plus for middle schoolers, it's just a big deal to make sure when you show up on your first day you have everything you need," James F. Doughty School counselor Lauren O'Reilley said.
"There is no questions at all asked, you don't have to apply you just show up. We usually have a line in here at 1 ready to roll, so we have notebooks in there, a pencil case, there's a ruler, a folder, pencils of course and there's a glue stick in there," added MacManus.
Participating Wireless Zone locations:
- Bangor: 570 Stillwater Ave.
- Ellsworth: 139 High Street
- Newport: 19 Moosehead Trail
- Skowhegan:175 Madison Ave
- Presque Isle: 765 Main Street