Volunteers pack 1,200 backpacks filled with school supplies

Trident United Way’s Young Leaders United Annual School Supply Drive is in full swing.
Published: Aug. 10, 2023 at 5:42 AM EDT|Updated: Aug. 10, 2023 at 8:03 AM EDT
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NORTH CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCSC) - Trident United Way’s Young Leaders United Annual School Supply Drive is in full swing.

The nonprofit purchased around 1,200 backpacks for hundreds of deserving students from low-income families in the Tri-County.

Volunteers have been packing supplies for two days with the process coming to an end today.

Students can expect the typical supplies like paper, pencils and a special note written by a volunteer wishing them a happy school year.

Trident United Way’s Young Leaders United annual school drive started at the end of June and went through mid-July.

Parents and schools in need had the opportunity to apply for these essential backpacks.

The packing process began at the beginning of August to ensure each bag is ready just in time for the new school year.

Purchasing the supplies is a collective effort of sponsors and organizations.

Items purchased were delivered to an area UPS warehouse facility and packed by volunteers.

UPS will then deliver the backpacks to those students in need by next week.

The backpacks will also find their way to Trident United Way Resource Connection Centers in Berkeley and Dorchester counties.

The three-day process will end with a sip-and-serve packing event from 5:30-7:30 p.m. Thursday at Segra at the RiverDogs stadium.

Trident United Way Advancement Officer Danielle Trauth-Jurman says providing the supplies not only helps those parents struggling but also gives students confidence.

“There are parents who are struggling to keep a roof over their child’s head, you know they’re fighting eviction and so having to not worry about getting, you know the tools for the start of the school year, because supplies that their kids need is really, you know, it’s something that really helps families out,” Trauth-Jurman said. “You don’t need to worry about where they’re going to get those supplies, and then kids going back to school, you know, they don’t need to worry about their friends making fun of them or that I’m not having the supplies that they need.”

Campaign Cabinet Chair at Trident United Way Micheal Samuel says their goal is to improve the supply drive each year.

“From this year to last year, I would say kind of focusing on one getting new donors in and also figuring out how to make it more efficient. So, this year we’re having four different shifts so people come in packs, pop in for two hours, that way it’s not too much of a lift for your day,” Samuel said. “You come in for two hours volunteer, you go back to work, or end your workday here.”

If you are interested in volunteering opportunities with Trident United Way, click here.