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updated: 7/21/2014 5:01 PM

ECC gears up for Project Backpack, donations sought

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Submitted by Elgin Community College

Project Backpack, a community-based initiative led by Elgin Community College to benefit students in need, is accepting donations of school supplies now through Friday, Aug. 1, at several locations.

This year's event will take place at 9 a.m. Saturday, Aug. 9, in the Building J Spartan Event Center on the Spartan Drive Campus, 1700 Spartan Drive, Elgin. The program receives supplies through individual, retailer, church, and community organization donations. The supplies and backpacks are on a first-come, first-served basis to students who provide proof of residency or school enrollment in Community Unit District 300, Elgin Area School District U-46 or ECC for fall 2014, with a limit of one backpack per student.

A range of community agencies and services will also be available at the event to further help families in need.

In addition to ECC's partnership with the Northern Illinois Food Bank, Project Backpack is sponsored by: ECC (Student Life, Phi Theta Kappa International Honor Society, Student Government), ECC Faculty Association, ECCP3, Community Crisis Center, Kane County Regional Office of Education, Kane County Teachers Credit Union, school districts 300 and U-46, and United Way of Elgin.

Since 2010, more than 7,000 backpacks filled with supplies have been distributed.

Last year's event saw more than 1,800 backpacks make their way to needy students, with 4,000 people in attendance by 10 a.m. The college also partnered with the Northern Illinois Food Bank, supplying families with approximately 3,000 bags of nonperishable food items.

Northern Illinois Food Bank provides nutritious meals to more than 60,000 people each week through a network of 800 partner food pantries and feeding programs across 13 counties.

That commitment provided 42 million meals last year to those in need.

Donations of the following supplies are needed:

• Two pocket folders, solid color only

• One subject notebooks, wide rule, solid color only

• Packs of loose leaf/filler paper, 150/200 count, wide rule

• Packages of yellow wood, standard No. 2 pencils, 10 count

• Black pens

• Scissors, gender-neutral color

• Glue sticks, 0.21 oz.

• Rulers, wood or gender-neutral color

• Pack of 24 count crayons, Crayola preferred

• Gender-neutral backpacks

Donations will be collected at the following locations:

• Community Crisis Center, for donation information call (847) 697-2380

• District U-46, Educational Services Center, second floor reception area, 355 E. Chicago St., Elgin

• Downtown Neighborhood Association, 10 N. Spring St., Elgin

• Elgin Community College, Building B, Student Life Office, 1700 Spartan Drive, Elgin

• Elgin Township, Supervisor Office, 729 S. McLean Blvd., Elgin

• THE National Bank, 3151 Route 20, Elgin

• United Way of Elgin, 1797 N. LaFox St., South Elgin

For more information, contact the ECC Student Life Office at (847) 214-7370.

For more information in Spanish, call (847) 695-8686.

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