A turnout of 186 people showed up for the Backpack to School program at the Salvation Army in Mesquite on Aug. 24. It became the biggest year ever for the program.
“We’ve been doing this ever since I have been here. This is our biggest year yet,” said Salvation Army Director Roberta Franco.
Don and Kay Watts, two locals, are sponsors of the program. “He (Don) came to me three years ago and said he wants to sponsor this for the next five years. Don also does it for his wife’s birthday, this is her birthday present. They are great supporters of the Salvation Army. Anytime we need anything they are just a phone call away. We would not be able to do as much as we do without them,” said Franco. However they are not the only people in town who help out.
Wal-Mart helps by giving the Salvation Army a discount on what they buy. “It really helps stretch our funds. This year we were able to provide the kids with some socks,” said Franco. The Living Waters Fellowship Youth Group helped out with the program as well. “They helped us pack the backpacks,” said Franco. The Exchange Club is another group that helped the Salvation Army.
The Backpack to School program is an annual event held at the Salvation Army in Mesquite to help families in need get school supplies. Franco does the shopping for the supplies and tries to get backpacks that are popular for the kids so they don’t look like low-income families.
The Emergency Canteen vehicle also stopped to supply kids with bottles of water and popsicles.
If you or anyone you know is in need of assistances from the Salvation Army, you can get more information about their programs by going to www.mesquitesalvationarmy.org. You can also call them at (702) 345-5116, or stop by the building located at 355 W. Mesquite Blvd. B-50. Office hours are 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. Monday-Friday.