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Helping students with needed supplies

Congregants at a local church filled backpacks with paper, pencils and other needed supplies. These backpacks are ready to be donated to CHUM. (Photo by Naomi Yaeger)

Churches around Duluth are collecting backpacks and school supplies to donate to the nonprofit faith-based agency CHUM, which will then distribute the packs to students in need before school starts.

"For many children, the first day of school is an exciting adventure," said Scott Van Daele, CHUM distributive services director. "But for those who lack the basic supplies, school may be a scary, intimidating, unhappy place."

Individuals are invited to donate a backpack filled with school supplies or make a financial donation. Or individuals may purchases supplies and drop them off at CHUM.

There are two types of backpacks, those for grades K-5 and those for grades 6-12. An $18 donation will provide a K-5 grade student with a backpack full of supplies. A $20 donation will provide a 5-12 grade student with a full backpack.

Here are the needed supplies:

Grade K-5 backpack

3 wide-ruled notebooks

1 pair of scissors

6 pencils

1 box of markers

1 box of crayons

2 glue sticks (no bottles, please)

3 pocket folders

Grade 6-12 backpack

6 pencils, 3 pens

1 three-ring binder

3 college-ruled notebooks

1 pack of college-ruled loose leaf paper

3 pocket folders

1 box of colored pencils

Every backpack is filled identically. CHUM requests that donators only include items on the list. Items most needed are backpacks, three-ring binders and pocket folders.

Donations are accepted 9 a.m. through 1 p.m., Monday through Friday at CHUM Food Shelf East, 120 N. First Ave. W., now through Aug. 15.

Naomi Yaeger

Naomi Yaeger is a freelance writer and the former editor of the Budgeteer. See her blog at