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Fullerton groups help kids get ready for a new school year with supplies

Backpacks line the floor at YMCA Fullerton. Southlands Fullerton church assisted YMCA in their annual Backpack for Kids event.
Backpacks line the floor at YMCA Fullerton. Southlands Fullerton church assisted YMCA in their annual Backpack for Kids event. Nick Saltas

A Fullerton church is helping low-income children get the school supplies they need-one backpack at a time.

Members of Southlands Fullerton church stuff backpacks for children at Richman School's YMCA day care.
Members of Southlands Fullerton church stuff backpacks for children at Richman School's YMCA day care. Nick Saltas

Southlands Fullerton church held a backpack assembling party August 24 at the Fullerton YMCA where they assembled 85 backpacks to help children in the Fullerton school district. The backpacks filled with supplies are designated to children in the YMCA's day care at Richman Elementary School, according to Clare McKenna, Fullerton YMCA's executive director.

Backpacks were filled with typical supplies that were specific for each grade and included binders, notebooks, papers and pens. YMCA, members of the YMCA and Southlands Church paid for the supplies.

The Fullerton church undertook the project as part of the CARES program, which stands for Christian Assistance Resources Education Services. The Christian-based program assists YMCA staff, members and community members with various needs throughout the year, including the Backpacks for Kids program.

Nick Saltas, the pastor of Southlands Fullerton, said that the almost one-year-old church partnered with YMCA out of a desire to help in the community where there is a need. The church has been meeting at Fullerton's YMCA for seven months now and took part in their CARES project to assist them with this need.

"We did what we could," he said. "Where we can we try to help."

Southlands has another location in Brea, which Saltas said is more of a bedroom community than Fullerton and has stark differences.

"Fullerton is such a large community made up of different communities. It ranges from homeless to millionaires. People fight so often about the cause [of poverty] One thing we agree on is that it's not the child's fault."

Parents will spend an average of $312 for back-to-school supplies and a backpack for middle school aged children, according to NBC News. This is a $100 increase over 2013.

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