Backpack giveaway helps hundreds of students

SEATTLE — Kids might not be heading to the classroom this fall, but they still need school supplies.

Office Depot took over Northgate Elementary School’s parking lot Monday morngin to hand out colorful backpacks filled with back-to-school supplies that students need.

“It gives them some new energy. It gets them out of their day-to-day that they’ve had ’cause they haven’t really hung out with friends all summer. So seeing this, it’s like, ‘Oh, the school, I know what this is now,’” Brent Thomas said.

Thomas brought his first grade daughter, Kera, to the back-to-school parade where she scored a pink backpack filled with notebooks, markers, pens, rulers and other supplies she’ll use, no matter where she’s taking classes this fall.

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Office Depot calls the event its Start Proud! campaign. The company holds it every year in major cities across the country.

“In the past years it’s been really cool. It’s been an assembly with all the students, the teachers, the faculty there to really hype up that first day of school. This year with virtual learning, it’s going to be a parade of cars coming in,” said Bob Bowen, Office Depot regional store director.

The parade was a hit, and kids were excited to see their teachers for the first time in months.

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The giveaway at Northgate is the only event Office Depot is hosting in the Pacific Northwest. Families said they’re thankful their school was chosen.

“This is really huge for our school. I’m part of PTO, and one of our big missions is to fundraise to provide students with the things that they need, and this is just that kind of times 10. So it’s really exciting for me to see this happening,” said Megan Hosch-Schmidt, a mother.

On top of the 500 backpacks handed out Monday, an additional 500 backpacks are being given to Seattle Public Schools. The backpacks will the go to families in the district.

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