Backpack program a success


More than 175 volunteers gathered at the Madison Civic Center to pack more than 1,000 boxes for 300-plus students that will receive three food boxes and one hygiene box throughout the summer.

United Way of Central West Virginia was proud to support the packing day for the Boone County Back Pack Buddy Program on June 27.

The Backpack Buddy-Boone program will provide bi-weekly food supplements for eligible students throughout Boone County during the summer of 2015. More than 175 volunteers gathered at the Madison Civic Center to pack more than 1,000 boxes for 300-plus students that will receive three food boxes and one hygiene box throughout the summer. Generations were truly united as young and old alike worked together, side-by-side towards a common goal to help feel children in need.

The packing process was a huge success thanks to the leadership and organization of Doug Erwin, and employee of Cummins and the person or created the first Backpack Buddy Program out of his garage in Putnam County. Now, with the assistance of United Way of Central WV, the Backpack Buddy Program has grown and crossed over into Kanawha and Boone counties to feed even more children during the summer months. A great day was had by all! It’s always a great day when people come together to help others in need, said John Ballengee, President of United Way of Central West Virginia.

United Way of Central West Virginia partnered with the following groups: Boone County Community Foundation, Greater Kanawha Valley Foundation, Cummins Foundation, City of Madison, Boone County Board of Education, and numerous churches, corporate and individual donors and have raised more than $32,000 to date to fund this program, and more importantly, 100 percent of the funds raised will be used to support Boone County students. Students will receive their first shipment the week of July 6th.

United Way of Central West Virginia serves Boone, Clay, Logan, Kanawha and Putnam Counties. In addition to helping support, coordinate and raise funds for the Backpack Buddy Program, more than 3100 residents of Boone County received assistance from a United Way partner agency in 2014. Contact your local United Way today and ask how you can help people in need in your community, where your live and work… where you call home.

Your local United Way office contact information is: Phone: 304-340-3500, Address: One United Way Square, Charleston, WV 25301; Website: www.unitedwaycwv.org. Or you can contact Janice Amspoker, Director of Resource and Development at 304-340-3544 or email jamspoker@unitedwaycwv.org with questions, or if you need additional information about agencies and/or assistance for Boone County residents.

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