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5,000 backpacks to be donated to Maine students

K-12 students across the state will receive thousands of backpacks thanks to donations, volunteers
Credit: NCM

PORTLAND, Maine — As students cram in required summer reading or final beach days, thousands will not have to think twice about having the right supplies to learn.

Ruth's Reusable Resources in Portland gives donated school supplies and other non-classroom related items back to the community. Over the years, tens of thousands of backpacks filled to the brim with supplies has found its way home with Maine students.

RELATED: 2018 Agency of Distinction: Ruth's Reusable Resources

"No kid should feel like they are less than another kid who has school supplies," said Ruth Libby of Ruth’s Reusable Resources. "They shouldn't have to sit in the back of the classroom because they feel bad. It really is just so every child has the same opportunity of learning and creating with the supplies."

Recently, Ruth's has helped out the influx of asylum seekers in Maine. Hundreds of slippers and socks have been given to families at the Portland Expo. Over 50 backpacks with games and other necessities were given to children when the first wave of asylees arrived.

Unum has partnered with Ruth's and volunteers have packed more than 25,000 backpacks over the last six years and. Between August 7-8, hundreds of Unum employees will be putting together supplies to give to thousands of Maine students.

“Ruth’s vision in assisting public education and youth is unparalleled,” said Steve Alpren, community relations specialist. “Getting affordable supplies to teachers and schools is paramount to a good school year.”

Libby says they are always looking for volunteers, and they take in financial and supply donations to replenish teachers throughout the year.

Organizations receiving backpack donations

United Way York County – 1,000 backpacks

Biddeford Middle School - N/A

Presumpscot Elementary School, Portland - 300

Arthur Gould School, South Portland - 30

Rose Gaffney Elementary School, Machias - 348

Cornville Regional Charter School - 356

Granite Street School, Millinocket - 515

Southern Aroostook Community School and RSU 50 - 357

Songo Locks, Naples - 100

Case managers and principal requests - 1,300+

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