The Banquet seeking school supplies for upcoming school year

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SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) – While many are preparing for the upcoming school year, The Banquet is looking to help others get prepared through Project S.O.S.

SOS, or ‘Supply Our Students,’ is an annual drive to help kids and families who can’t afford supplies get a brand-new backpack, all before the start of a brand-new school year.

“School supplies are very expensive and at the beginning of the school year. We know that they have clothes to buy, shoes to buy, and having a brand-new backpack with new school supplies, that just adds another burden to families that are already hit hard financially,” Marketing Director for The Banquet Madeline Shields said.

That’s why The Banquet, along with several partners in KELOLAND are making custom backpacks for kids this coming school year.

“We pack them per-grade and so we get the school supply list from Sioux Falls Public Schools and, if you’re in first grade, you’re going to get in that bag what is on that first-grade list,” Shields said

Typically, they pack the items in the bags once everything is collected, but they’re kicking things off a little early…

“We are getting a little bit of a head start. We have mission trip volunteers that come into Sioux Falls,” Shields said.

The group of 18-year-olds formed through the combined efforts of Youth Unlimited & Sioux Falls Serve stopped by to help load backpacks for eighth-graders.

“I think that… it teaches them that the world is so much bigger than where we live… and… it shows them too that little acts of service can have such a profound impact when we all work together,” Youth Leader Susan Jones said.

“It just feels really good that we can go out and help people that are less fortunate than us because we’ve been very privileged with the life that we’ve had and that we can go out and spread Jesus’ love as much as we can,” Volunteer Jessica Hassevoort said.

But they can’t do it alone. From crayons to pencils, notebooks, you can drop off donations in specially marked bins.

“There are bins we have drop boxes at all the Lewis Drug stores, at the HyVee stores, and at the Menards and, if you’re out shopping, and there isn’t a box – a donation box – at the store that you’re at, just feel free to bring them to The Banquet,” Shields said.

You can find the list of items they need by checking out The Banquet’s website.

For more information on upcoming school lists, see KELOLAND’s Back To School Page.

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