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‘Backpacks of Love’ returns for third year
Backpacks of love
From left: Louie Allenbach, Sarah Fedishen and Kate Allenbach delivered funds this week that were earned by the St. Peter’s Church “Backpacks of Love” project. - photo by Katie Hankinson

For the third consecutive year, St. Peter’s of the Valley Episcopal Church in Basalt is leading the “Backpacks of Love” project that benefits students attending the Basalt schools. This year, due to the community’s generosity, the project will expand to other district schools.

“Our parishioners are donating new backpacks and all sorts of school supplies to the Basalt Middle School,” said Karin Bannerot recently. “We will collect backpacks and supplies through the end of August. This has been a most rewarding way to help some children and families in our neighborhood.”

This week, the district received a check for $1,500 that was part of the project. And the drive was so successful in 2019 there are additional supplies that can be used for other Roaring Fork District schools, according to Natasha Lucero-Conklin, who is its family resource center liaison.

Backpacks and school supplies to suit students of all stripes have been collected by St. Peter’s Episcopal Church and donated to the Basalt schools for the past three years. This year, other students in the district will be recipients of the project as well. - photo by Katie Hankinson
“We have permission to use them across the district as needed, to go outside parameters of the Basalt schools,” Lucero-Conklin said Wednesday. “It’s been fun seeing how much people want to help.”

According to the St. Peter’s newsletter: “This vital ministry began when we realized that there were some children in our schools for whom buying school supplies and things like backpacks would be a struggle; after rent and other necessities, there’s often very little left in some families’ budgets for anything else. Just a little bit of assistance can help so much.”

Lucero-Conklin said that a project initially envisioned to help only Basalt students has in the end likely touched “hundreds” of students in the Valley.

“The need is great and we do everything we can to ensure every student is set up for success,” Lucero-Conklin said. 

The demand for goods and manner of distribution of supplies varies school-by-school. Lucero-Conklin added that a winter coat drive involving these entities could be in the offing for later in 2019.