Operation Backpack doubles intake

Deb Franklin, a longtime volunteer with FreeHelpCK, passed away recently.

The need is increasing, but the people of Chatham-Kent are there to try to meet it.

Officials from FreeHelpCK said this summer’s Operation Backpack saw nearly double the donations compared to 2022. A total of 1,361 backpacks were donated – 1,276 through donation points with FreeHelpCK and another 85 to Outreach for Hunger. In 2022, the public and local businesses donated 679 backpacks.

“With all the financial support and supplies that we received during this year’s campaign, as times continue to get tougher around households financially, we hope to bring help by helping to provide for families in Chatham-Kent,” FreeHelpCK directors said in their media release.
Chatham, Wallaceburg, Dresden, Ridgetown, Blenheim, Tilbury and Wheatley all had backpacks and school supplies dropped off for families in need.
“We had some amazing financial help from special sponsors and our community,” FreeHelpCK officials said.
On a sad note, volunteer Deb Franklin passed away recently. The FreeHelpCK board of directors said in the release called the news “a huge blow.

“She helped make sure Operation Backpack ran smoothly and was always a big part of organizing many events, as well as the Prom Dress Giveaway held by our charity,” they said.


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