Rogue Gateway helps fill backpacks for kindergarteners

Backpack workers

(L-R) Rotarian Dawn Welch, St. Anne Catholic School teacher Andrea Tunick, and Rotarians Dr. Kristin Plunkett and Delynn Sharpen stuff backpacks for distribution to local kindergarteners.

Rogue Gateway Rotarians recently collected food and toys to stuff 165 backpacks that will go home over winter break with kindergarteners from six Josephine County schools.

The Rotary club members, who combined their efforts with Andrea Tunick’s first-grade class at St. Anne Catholic School, collected enough money and other donations to fill 165 backpacks.

Tunick’s students got involved when first grader Maddy Scharpen, daughter of Rogue Gateway Rotarian Delynn Scharpen, selected the Rotary Club’s backpack effort as her school project. She presented the idea to the student body, which agreed to help collect donations. More than 50 volunteers from Rogue Gateway and St. Anne’s then loaded the packs with high protein foods, crayons, books, socks, mittens and stuffed toys.

Rotarians distributed the backpacks last week to Lincoln, Evergreen, Ft. Vannoy, Manzanita, Madrona, and Fruitdale elementary schools, where they will be given to youngsters identified as food insecure to take home with them over the winter break.

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