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June 20, 2019 by 

By Elizabeth Román | eroman@repub.com

Article Credit: MassLive

HOLYOKE — Every year the Holyoke Safe Neighborhood Initiative holds a school supply drive to make sure that children in need have all the essentials before the next school year begins.

The 2019 Pack the Backpack School Supply Drive is underway and everything from pencils and pens, notebooks and erasers are in high demand.

“We are looking to collect 2,000 of each item listed so that Holyoke students will be ready for the new year ,” said Edward Cassie, unit director for the Hampden County Sheriff’s Department and organizer of the safe neighborhood initiative, which brings together local, state and federal law enforcement; human service organizations; faith based organizations; the business community; the schools and resident to create safe neighborhoods in Holyoke.

The donations will be distributed during the back to school event at McNally Field on Aug. 17 from 1 to 5 p.m.

“Local businesses and individuals have been very helpful in making this event a success in the past and we hope that will be the case again this year,” Cassie said. ” The reality is that many of our students live below the poverty line and if we don’t provide these backpacks they will arrive to school with nothing next year.”

Last year even with a rainy day more than 2,000 families attended the event. Cassie said he is expecting close to 3,000 families this year.

Local residents and businesses interested in contributing items toward the effort can drop off supplies at the areas listed below between now and July 12. Please note that there are designated locations for particular supplies.

Notebooks — Holyoke Credit Union: 490 Westfield Road, Holyoke

Pencils Packs — Dollar Tree: 2269 Northampton Street, Holyoke

Glue Sticks — Girl Scouts: 301 Kelly Way, Holyoke

Crayons — Holyoke Medical Center: 575 Beech Street, Holyoke

Colored Pencils — Gary Rome: 150 Whiting Farms Road, Holyoke

Colored Pencils — K-Mart: 2203 Northampton Street, Holyoke

Colored Markers — Staples: 591 Memorial Drive, Chicopee

Child Scissors — Bresnahan Insurance: 100 Whiting Farms Road, Holyoke

Child Scissors — Blessed Sacrament: 21 Westfield Road, Holyoke

Eraser Caps — Gary Rome: 150 Whiting Farms Road, Holyoke

Eraser Caps — Holyoke Public School: 57 Suffolk Street, Holyoke

Pkgs. of Tissues — Holyoke Senior Center: 291 Pine Street, Holyoke

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