Students in need get backpacks filled with school supplies

SAN ANTONIO – One thousand backpacks filled with school supplies were given out to students in Northside Independent School District and surrounding charter schools on Saturday.

The event, hosted by Councilman Greg Brockhouse and dozens of local businesses, was held at Meadowcliff Community Center on the far West Side.

Brand-new, brightly-colored backpacks filled with pencils, paper, folders and markers were ready to be put to use by students like eighth-grader Lauren Almendarez, who started the school year without the school supplies she needed. 

"It makes me happy because at least I have something. It's better than nothing," Almendarez said.

What made Saturday's backpack giveaway different from others is that it happens after the school year starts. That way, organizers can go into the classrooms and talk with teachers, parents and counselors to figure out which kids are in the most need.

Kelly Karrens has two boys that she has to buy supplies for. She said she is grateful to the community and all the organizations that donated.

"They said if anybody wanted free supplies and of course, (I did)," Karrens said. "I'm a single mom, so school supplies are hard sometimes. It's really nice of the community and the school district that does this."

As for Lauren, she said seeing others give to her has inspired her to give back when she gets older.

"It makes me want to help out others and be a good person," Almendarez said.

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