1,000 Kids to get the Back to School Basics - 8 News NOW

1,000 Kids to get the Back to School Basics

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HENDERSON -- Backpacks, binders and clothes may seem like simple things to buy unless you are among the many financially struggling families in southern Nevada.

The Henderson organization Hopelink sees the need and plans to supply more than 1,000 students with the basics for their first day of school.

The backpack giveaway relies solely on donations from the city of Henderson, businesses and residents in the community. Organizers say school children can't succeed if they don't have the essentials.

Erika Lebby's helped with the supply drive since the 7th grade. "Every new bag is like Christmas morning," Lebby said. Now, a 12th grader at Coronado High School, she makes sure each school kit is complete. "It's fun looking at the clothes and seeing what each kid has."

Church volunteers spend hours stuffing supplies in backpacks and helping Hopelink prepare for the big day.

"The demand has been just incredible, I've never seen anything like it," said Daniele Dreitzer, Hopelink executive director.

Hopelink filled its slots for the giveaway in four days whereas last year it took four weeks. More than 1,000 kids are registered to receive backpacks, clothing and shoes from non-profit agencies across the valley.

"They have items that someone spent the time and money to get just for them," said Dreitzer.

Student from pre-kindergarten to 12th grade qualified if their family of four had a yearly income of less than $20,000.

"It makes you think how lucky you are," said Lebby.

"Being different or needing help often creates a stigma," said Dreitzer. So volunteers do what they can to buy items for the kids similar to what their classmates might have. Each donation comes from the heart.

"There are people out there who they will never meet and never know who care enough about them and want them to be successful in school," said Dreitzer.

Hopelink plans to give out the backpacks Saturday morning. Organizers do still need supplies for about 100 more kids.

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