School supplies needed for High River students

Charity: Okotokian collecting donations for backpack program

By: Don Patterson

  |  Posted: Wednesday, Aug 14, 2013 06:43 pm

Okotoks resident Anna Quick, 10, sits amongst school supplies and backpacks she gathered by way of donations for High River children returning to school in the fall. Anna is still seeking more donations to help flood-affected families offset the costs associated with children returning to school.
Okotoks resident Anna Quick, 10, sits amongst school supplies and backpacks she gathered by way of donations for High River children returning to school in the fall. Anna is still seeking more donations to help flood-affected families offset the costs associated with children returning to school.
Jordan Verlage/OWW

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When the school bell rings in High River next month, thousands of the town's students will need new pens, binders and backpacks to get back to their studies.

An Okotoks girl is lending a hand to make sure they will have the supplies they need when heading back to class.

Anna Quick is collecting donations of backpack and school supplies to hand out to children in High River who will need them.

The 10-year-old said families in High River have enough problems to deal with after the flood and buying school supplies shouldn’t be one of them.

“They’re going to have some trouble, if they lost everything they’re not going to be able to buy everything, so I thought why not make up backpacks,” said Quick.

She is looking for donations of supplies for students from pre-school to Grade 12.

“We’re looking for crayons, pencils, pretty much any kind of school supply,” she said.

Quick is also looking for treats and fun items that can be added to the backpacks, and said she already has some goodies, such as teen facials donated by Calgary spa Bella Barbarella.

“All the backpacks are going to have different kind of treats,” she said. “A few of them are going to have things like that (the facial coupons) and other ones can have coupons for something else.”

Quick is amazed by the support she has received so far. She received 100 backpacks for older students donated by the International Union of Operating Engineers. She is still looking for backpacks for younger students. She has also received donations of water bottles from Okotoks Canadian Tire and cash donations from other businesses to use to buy items for the backpacks.

An actress since the age of five, Quick also contacted people she knows from acting in films and commercials and doing vocal work for the animated series Lalaloopsy on Tree House to collect donations.

“We didn’t think we’d have so many companies saying ‘we’ll give this, and this and this,’” she said. “Now we have 30 companies on our hands. It’s gotten bigger than we expected.”

She also wants backpacks with bigger gifts to go to children from families that were hardest hit by the flood.

For more information and a list of necessary supplies visit www.annaquick.com and click on the AQ Cares link. People can also provide donations on her website using PayPal.

Quick is co-ordinating her backpack campaign with the High River Parent Link Centre, which operates a backpack program every year.

Michelle Kessel, program facilitator, said the need is great this year after the flood.

“Due to the flood we’re going to see many more families utilizing the program this year,” she said.

The goal is to give every student in High River a backpack and the centre has over 800 children registered so far. The centre will keep the program up and running until it is certain every child in town received a backpack.

In addition the normal range of essential school supplies, Kessel said there is a big need for items for high school students, such as scientific calculators and larger backpacks.

To donate, people can contact the centre at 403-652-8633. Donations can be dropped off at the centre in the Charles Clark Medical Centre or they can also arrange to have them picked up.


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