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Backpacks Needed To Help Area Homeless

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Blessed Backpack Brigade

The Blessed Backpack Brigade is in desperate need of used backpacks!  Now that the school year is winding down, your child’s unwanted or unneeded backpack would be greatly appreciated.

Jennifer Cederberg of the Blessed Backpack Brigade tells THE LAKE 940, June 22nd is the day you can contribute to this worthy local cause.  “I have partnered with the Webster Public Schools and Superintendent Ruthann Goguen to host a Backpack Drive on the last day of school. I will be placing collection boxes outside of each school office where kids can drop off their gently used backpacks which will go directly to the Blessed Backpack Brigade.”

If you are feeling extra generous, you can can even fill the donated backpacks with food, clothing, and personal supplies and know that they will be delivered directly to the needy and homeless in Webster who can’t help themselves.

The Blessed Backpack Brigade was started in 2016 by Paul and Lauri Joseph after learning of the large population of homeless individuals in the Webster area.  On the second and fourth Wednesday of every month the brigade, made up of volunteers, hosts free fellowship meals at the American Legion that serves between 100 and 150 people.

For many, these fellowship meals are the only social activity they have during the month, giving people a time to interact with others.  “It is a heart-warming experience to be a part of, it is strictly run by volunteers, and the Brigade stretches each and every penny to be sure that everyone has a satisfying meal.”

It is the mission of the Blessed Backpack Brigade to serve those members of our community in need regardless of circumstances. This includes the elderly, unemployed, underemployed, disabled, indigents, homeless, and children.

They seek to serve these people by providing food for their bodies, kindness for their souls, & hope for the future.

The Blessed Backpack Brigade Program is a not-for-profit, volunteer-based organization with a dedicated staff, community support and a commitment to educate the public about these issues.

In addition to the free meals, the Brigade also offers assistance to these individuals if they want to seek resources for health care, to seek jobs and find housing, for social services, to find health insurance, to find mental health counseling, to find treatment with drug and alcohol addiction, and anything else that is needed.

Unfortunately, in April a major source of the organization’s funding was cut, so donations are needed now more than ever.    If you can’t donate money or goods, volunteers are always needed as well.

The Blessed Backpack Brigade is solely run fundraisers during the year to help defray extra costs and they have collection bins at the Webster Town Hall and the Dudley Police Station for donations of clothing and other items.

For more information about the organization or to set up a donation, find them on Facebook or contact them by e-mail at blessedbackpackbrigade@gmail.com.