Franklin Countys First News

Volunteers swarm Packs for Progress event

Volunteers fill backpacks at United Way's Packs for Progress event. (Photo by Scott Landry)

FARMINGTON - More than 100 people waited in line on Thursday evening, not for a movie or ice cream, but to volunteer their time.

In just under two hours the group filled 550 backpacks with mostly donated school supplies for area children in need. Packs for Progress is a program of United Way of the Tri-Valley Area and serves eligible students in greater Franklin County. The backpacks will be picked up next week in time for the first day of school in just a few weeks.

"It was a huge success. We were delighted with the turn out," UWTVA Executive Director Lisa Laflin said.

Though the main focus of the event was to fill the packs, UWTVA took advantage of the gathering to also celebrate the kick off of their Annual Campaign. Organizations and businesses in the community have the opportunity to partner with UWTVA by doing workplace campaigns which raise funds, in-kind donations and volunteer hours toward the goal of $725,000 by Jan. 1.

"The best part was seeing people chatting and networking while they waited in line," Community Resource Coordinator Nichole Ernest said.

The event included free blood pressure checks by Healthy Community Coalition's Mobile Health Unit, fresh vegetable hand outs from the Hope Harvest Garden, Carbon Catering food truck and tours of LEAP's new facility where the event was hosted. LEAP, an organization that supports adults with developmental, cognitive and intellectual disabilities, is a Community Partner of UWTVA and also runs an employee campaign. The new facility will bring together the many trainings, offices and event spaces that the are spread throughout the area under one roof. This was the first event to be held at the new building at 313 Farmington Falls Road; Director Darryl Wood said there will be a grand opening in Oct.

"It was a party with a purpose," Laflin said.

More than 100 volunteers gathered to stuff backpacks Thursday evening.

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1 Responses »

  1. The nicest folks in the world live right here. Thank you for your kindness!