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November 28, 2017 05:32 PM

"Their Own Special Thing" - Backpacks Dropped Off On Giving Tuesday

On Giving Tuesday, we're highlighting a story about kids receiving something that many of us might overlook or take for granted.

At Horace Mann Elementary School in Sioux Falls, not every student has a backpack.

"Right now we do have some children who, they take their things back and forth from home through a grocery bag," counselor Paula Terpstra said.

On Tuesday, the St. Francis House delivered 78 donated backpacks.

"The mission that St. Francis House believes in is is that we need to share our resources when we have extras," St. Francis House Executive Director Julie Becker said. "And on November 18, we had a Walk A Mile In Their Shoes, where we collected backpacks and food that we had every intention to share with other entities in the community."
"For many of our students, they maybe started the year with a backpack, and maybe no longer have that backpack due to many different reasons," Terpstra said. "It just may have gotten torn, wore out.  It may be that they misplaced that backpack." 

And backpacks aren't just going to Horace Mann.

"We're dropping off more at another elementary school shortly, and then we have some for our guests, and then a few for the other shelters," Becker said. "So, we had well over probably almost 200 backpacks that were donated in total." 

All of the children at Horace Mann are part of the Bridges Program.

"Our students here learn social skills just like they learn their academic skills," Terpstra said. "As we know, students who struggle with behaviors, the more practice they have practicing those skills, the better they're able to utilize those." 

Having a backpack that is theirs means something.

"It's their own special thing, and that they know that belongs to them, and it doesn't belong to anyone else within their home," Terpstra said.

If you're looking for a way to give back, you can check out our Avera Tradition of Caring in KELOLAND page

You can also check out our Home for the Holidays page, which highlights local organizations that could use your help. 

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