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Katy, TX News (August 6, 2014) – For the tenth consecutive year, YMCA Operation Backpack joins the forces of local churches, businesses, and other community partners to touch the lives of Katy area children and their families this school year.


The Katy Family YMCA is collecting brand new backpacks filled with school supplies to help students in the Katy, Sealy and Royal ISDs. Thousands of supplies will be collected for children who might otherwise start school unprepared. Last year the Katy YMCA helped 2,500 kids and the goal this year is to help close to 4,000.

Connie Stirgus, Outreach Coordinator for the Katy Family YMCA, has the task of securing donations of needed school items from community partners and individuals. She also heads up the effort to recruit volunteers to help in the sorting, packaging and distributing of the supplies.

“Many of us remember going to the store with our parents and picking out a brand new backpack and supplies for the school year,” said Stirgus. “With the current state of the economy, many parents just don’t have the money to buy the supplies their kids need to start the school year. That can be disheartening to the parent and also to the child. The YMCA wants to help those families help their kids have a successful year. I have been in schools delivering supplies and it puts a smile on my face to see all kids, regardless of their parents’ financial situation, have all the supplies they need to start the year off right.”

Many times Stirgus goes out and approaches prospective donors when there are special classroom needs, such as unique supplies that the teachers like for the kids to have.  An example of this is a composition book which costs about $2.50 each. The Y uses cash donations from individuals and companies for these requests, such as BP, which recently donated $500.

“HEB stores in Katy put together bags of supplies, ranging in price from $2.50 to $7.00, and backpacks that their customers can purchase. “We pick these up and deliver them to the different schools,” says Stirgus.  Drop-off locations included: Tradition Bank, HEB, New Hope Presbyterian Church, Sphier Emergency Room, Dagley Insurance, Choice ER, Connect2health Wellness, Whole Foods Market and the Katy Family YMCA.

YMCA Operation Backpack continues through August 10, but it’s never too late to donate supplies and backpacks to the Katy Family YMCA. All collected backpacks and school supplies will be distributed to children in need within the Katy YMCA service area. If you are in need of backpack(s) for school, please contact your child’s school counselor.

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