Backpacks 2019

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Students from across White County were able to choose from backpacks of many colors and designs during last year’s Operation Backpack distribution in Monticello.

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MONTICELLO — A generous program by Monticello First Presbyterian Church that offers school supplies to families in need is returning for its 16th year.

But because of the COVID-19 health emergency, this year’s distribution will be a little different.

Operation Backpack distribution will be 3-6 p.m. Aug. 2 and will be conducted drive-through style at the Carroll-White REMC parking lot, 302 N. Sixth St., Monticello.

Last year, more than 270 children received backpacks filled with school supplies.

“Usually, the students would be able to pick out their own backpacks and school supplies. This year we will be having a drive-through event due to the COVID-19 precautions,” said 16-year volunteer Andi Janke. “The children will be able to pick out their backpacks from their cars and church volunteers will gather the school supplies that they will need.”

In the previous 15 versions of the event, donations were accepted to help fill the backpacks. This year, because of the health emergency, the church isn’t accepting donated school items.

Instead, the church is accepting monetary donations to purchase supplies. Those can be mailed to Monticello First Presbyterian Church, 104 N. Illinois St., Monticello, IN 47960.

“It’s a day with lots of giving and lots of distributing,” Janke said. “The start of this school year is going to be different than any other. We hope that Operation Backpack can help families in our community to get a good start on the new school year.”

Operation Backpack compiles school lists from Tri-County, North White, Frontier and Twin Lakes schools to provide supplies necessary to meet school list requirements for grades K-12.

To receive supplies, a parent or legal guardian must accompany children, who must attend one of the schools in White County (Twin Lakes, North White, Frontier or Tri-County) and parents/legal guardians must provide evidence of White County residency.

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