Aug. 30, 2005 – Backpacks filled with school supplies were given out over the weekend to students returning to school in St. Croix, St. Thomas and St. John, thanks to a program sponsored by the office of Sen. Craig Barshinger. Additional backpacks were distributed on Monday to some more deserving scholars on all three islands. The backpacks — filled with a notebook, a box of crayons or colored pencils, and packs of pens and pencils — are valued at $30 each, according to a Barshinger staff member.
"Each year a growing number of our territory's children start school without the proper tools for learning. Many of the less fortunate ones have no writing utensils, notebooks or backpacks," Barshinger said. The freshman senator sponsored the Fill-a-Pack program to counteract this disturbing trend and give children a head start on the new school year.
Barshinger's office solicited donations from local businesses and raised more than $4,000 to buy the backpacks and supplies and contacted several youth-related civic associations to identify needy children. The Safety Zone, Nana Baby Home, Queen Louise Home, Your Word Christian Ministry, the Youth Rehabilitation Center and the Women's Coalition identified more than 150 children to be the recipients of the backpacks and school supplies.
On St. John, 52 students received the supplies, with 52 in St. Thomas and 53 in St. Croix.
We are happy to be able to provide these students with some of the equipment they need to succeed in school," Barshinger said. "We thank all the generous donors for partnering with us in this worthy cause."
The donors included American Yacht Harbor, Divi Carina Bay Resort, Emax Financial Group, Horizon Fuel and Financial Management, Kenzie Financial Management, Marmarus Management Company, Paula Corry, St. Thomas Dairies, The March Group and Trust Asset Management.
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