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St. Joseph Health staff and volunteers collect backpacks for local students

09/08/2014

Eureka, CA (September 8, 2014) – Nearly 90 children in Humboldt County started school this year with new backpacks filled with school supplies. This is due in large part to the generosity of St. Joseph Hospital and Redwood Memorial Hospital staff and volunteers. In early August our annual backpack drive began. Staff and volunteers donated and/or collected supplies and backpacks. One nurse at St. Joseph Hospital donated 25 backpacks alone loaded with supplies. Volunteers at both hospitals put together numerous backpacks as well.

The backpacks were all gathered in late August and distributed to our Community Resource Centers in Blue Lake, Loleta, Rio Dell and Willow Creek in addition to Paso a Paso, a St. Joseph Health program that helps support the local Hispanic community. The backpacks were then given to local students. Martha Shanahan, area director of community benefits, said there is always a great need for school supplies and backpacks from the families our resource centers serve. "The schools in these communities have a significant number of kids qualifying for free or reduced price school lunches, which indicates there is a great need for basic necessities," said Martha. "The kids are so excited to receive a fully stocked backpack and the parents are grateful for the help," she added.

The mission of our Community Resource Centers is to support access to health care and encourage the physical, emotional and spiritual health of families on the North Coast. It's because of the efforts, such as our backpack drive, that we are able to serve our mission. For more information about our services, visit stjosepheureka.org or redwoodmemorial.org.

Photo: In late August, nearly 90 backpacks that were donated by St. Joseph Health volunteers and staff were gathered before being given to local students. (From left) Marcelina Mejia de Castillo, Haydee Hopkins, Lucy Silveira and Kim Rios (seated) gather with some of the backpacks collected during this year's backpack drive.

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