HARLINGEN — A pile of colorful backpacks — from army green to yellow and purple — were neatly stacked and ready for distribution, filled with school supplies and important information.

Children from Wilson and Rodriguez elementary schools along with their parents were welcomed this week to Judge Sallie Gonzalez’s courtroom in Harlingen for a backpack giveaway.

The backpacks included school supplies along with some important information about the upcoming census.

A census coloring book was part of the backpacks’ contents.

It describes Cameron County with pictures to color and teaches children how to count every resident in their home, as well as how to explain to their parents how to participate in the census.

Cameron County Clerk Sylvia Garza-Perez explained the importance of participating in the census.

“This is very important for our community because without registering how many people are living at home, citizens are missing out on funds. It doesn’t matter if you are undocumented or not, you can register,” Garza-Perez said.

Gonzalez explained backpacks were gathered by donations from the community.

One of the biggest contributors was Pastor Carlos Navarro from West Brownsville Baptist Church.

“We do this almost every year and give more than a hundred backpacks to kids from this area through donations,” Gonzalez said.

Garza-Perez expressed her gratitude for Navarro’s support.

“He is a tremendous man of God and he does so much to help so many people. I am thankful he does so much to help so many,” Garza-Perez said.

Backpacks are still available while they last and can be picked up at the Cameron County Harlingen Annex Building, 3302 W. Wilson Road, Monday through Friday during regular business hours.

“We have a very good group today but we are still keeping some for children who didn’t come today. This is the only giveaway we have planned for now, but we will have another one coming close to Thanksgiving and Christmas,” Gonzalez said.