SAN BENITO — Hundreds of students are set to enter another school year with their new, free backpacks filled with back-to-school goodies.
In partnership with the Friends of the San Benito Library group, the San Benito Public Library donated backpacks to students yesterday at its annual backpack giveaway.
Brenda Avila, a mother of two, has been attending the event for the past two years.
“I think this is really helpful because some parents don’t have enough to buy supplies and this is a big help for us,” Avila said. “So, I appreciate everyone who is helping with this.”
The library has been hosting the giveaway for about the past six years.
According to Gerardo “Jerry” Salazar, San Benito Public Library Director, the backpack giveaway has shown growth every year.
“When we first started, we had about 40 backpacks donated,” Salazar explained. “Then, it grew to 70, 100 and now we have about 300.”
A team effort
Salazar said Friends of the San Benito Library is instrumental in raising funds for the library’s community programs and events such as the annual backpack giveaway.
“We’re happy to do this and think it’s wonderful,” said Friends of the San Benito Library President Debby Truman. “We really feel like the community and the children benefit from this because it helps them get the school year off to a good start.”
In addition to assistance from Friends of the San Benito Library, the San Benito Police and Fire Departments helped collect supplies and monetary donations.
During the giveaway, city officials and members from both departments passed out backpacks to students and wished them the best for their upcoming school year.
“We’re happy to be a part of this great event and be there for community,” said San Benito Interim Fire Chief Adan Gonzalez. “We know there are a lot of families and kids that need assistance so we’re always here to help with anything we can.”