Local nonprofit Project PACK hopes to fill hundreds of backpacks with community donations for RE-1 children in need
When three mothers learned that numerous children experiencing traumatic events were in need of supplies, they wanted to help — and knew the community would, too.
“I got into a brainstorm with my three friends,” said Roaring Fork Valley resident Amber Wissing. “Seeing the need in the community and knowing that people really do have a heart to give, we wanted to find a practical way to bridge the gap.”
Subsequently, Wissing, Mandy Chamberlain and Katrina Epp formed Project PACK, which stands for “Provide a Crisis Kit,” four years ago.
The local nonprofit, which operates under the Two Rivers Community Foundation, supports a number of local agencies including all RE-1 Schools.
Now through Sept. 16, Project PACK with the help of Alpine Bank will collect emergency supply donations for RE-1 school children in need.
“We have an initial goal of being able to pack 300 backpacks,” said Wissing. “People may drop off supplies at any Alpine Bank from Basalt to Glenwood during their regular business hours.”
Those supplies, intended for students up to 18-years-old, include: blankets, socks, underwear, pajamas, toothpaste, toothbrushes, soap, deodorant, feminine hygiene products, water bottles, snacks and gift cards.
“We do only accept new items,” said Wissing.
Volunteers will then sort through those new items and fill already purchased backpacks with them.
Those backpacks will then go to the Family Resource Center, which will supply them to RE-1 children in need.
“The plight of these children may not be visible to many of us in our community, but their need for our support is real,” Alpine Bank Glenwood President John Stelzriede said in a news release. “Alpine Bank is proud to lend a hand to this important initiative.”
In some cases, children may not be able to return home because of a family crisis, homelessness or disclosure of abuse.
Project PACK, with the help of the community, provides those children with necessary supplies through those traumatic events.
“We are hoping to finish strong here in the last couple of weeks,” Wissing said of the collection drive.
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Starting Monday, Roaring Fork Schools will begin delivering meals to anyone 18 and under who needs one, regardless of whether they qualify under federal free and reduced lunch guidelines.