2,500 backpacks headed to Austin kids starting Monday


AUSTIN (KXAN) — Two groups are distributing backpacks to Austin children on Monday ahead of the start of the new school year.

The nonprofit group Foster Angels will bring foster family case workers into the Travis County CPS office starting at 9 a.m. to collect supplies for kids in the foster care system who need them.

“That’s not something that anyone should have to worry about,” Maggie Sheppard, marketing manager for Foster Angels, said.

The group has been collecting supplies and backpacks and distributes them to kids all over Central Texas, not just in Austin. Monday’s distribution will put more than 1,000 backpacks into the hands of case workers.

The program is so popular that Sheppard said their supplies never last more than about an hour as they work to make sure every kid has what they need.

“You’re going through enough already,” Sheppard said. “We just want you to feel normal. You’re among your peers, you’re on your first day of school. We want you to feel like everybody else.”

Sheppard added the group is fortunate to be based in Austin, where people are willing to give to nonprofits they support.

Meanwhile, city of Austin employees donated bags and supplies last month to the 13th annual Build a Backpack program. In all, the drive collected 1,428 backpacks, the city said, which were stored at the Operation Blue Santa warehouse until Monday morning.

The backpacks will head to 14 Austin schools, from elementary to high schools, over the course of two days. At least one school in each council district will get supplies.

City Manager Spencer Cronk and Council Member Pio Renteria will be at the Gardner Betts Juvenile Justice Center, another distribution site, on Monday to start handing out supplies. 

The second distribution will happen Wednesday.

Visit Partnerships for Children to find out how you can help foster children.

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