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Sharing Shelf Doubles Efforts In 'Backpacks To School' Drive

WHITE PLAINS, N.Y. — Volunteers will fill 400 backpacks with grade-appropriate school supplies to donate to needy Westchester families through Backpacks to School, an initiative of The Sharing Shelf program run by Family Services of Westchester (FSW).

The 400 backpacks doubles the number assembled last year, Deborah Blatt, program coordinator for The Sharing Shelf, said in a release. Local teachers created the list of supplies, which includes pens, pencils, composition books, notebooks and binders. In addition, more than a dozen scientific and graphing calculators have been donated by graduating high school seniors from Iona Prep in New Rochelle, and The Sharing Shelf is looking for more.

“We want to double our efforts this year and provide some hard-to-obtain items like graphing and scientific calculators and flash drives for older students as well,” Blatt said in the release.

Backpacks to School volunteers will be collecting supplies and financial donations Monday through Wednesday at the Ridge Hill Mall in Yonkers, with the goal of filling a Ridge Hill trolley with school supplies. Donations can also be dropped off at FSW’s headquarters in Port Chester or its White Plains office from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Friday. All donations and supplies should be received by Aug. 20.

To fill a backpack with supplies costs $25, and The Sharing Shelf is also seeking donations in increments of $25.

Checks can be made payable to FSW/The Sharing Shelf and mailed to Family Services of Westchester, One Gateway Plaza, Port Chester, NY 10572. Donations can also be made by credit card on the FSW website by clicking on “Donate” on the home page or by calling Deborah Wilson at 914-305-6876.

The filled backpacks will be distributed to families in September by Family Services of Westchester and other programs and agencies.

To learn about volunteer opportunities for The Sharing Shelf or inquire about the backpack drive, contact Deborah Blatt by email or by phone at 914-355-9121, or email Leslie Simonides.

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