More than 450 North Okanagan students were helped in the annual North Okanagan Youth and Family Services Society’s (NOYFSS) annual backpack project

More than 450 North Okanagan students were helped in the annual North Okanagan Youth and Family Services Society’s (NOYFSS) annual backpack project

Backpacks help students

Staples provides school supplies through local charitable organizations

It’s become a summer staple of Staples.

The Vernon office equipment and supplies giant holds fundraisers from July 1 to Sept. 13 to help North Okanagan Youth and Family Services Society (NOYFSS) with its annual Backpack Project.

The NOYFSS campaign sees organizations such as Staples contribute funds to help purchase school supplies and backpacks for families who need financial assistance.

This year, Staples raised more than $26,000 – the highest amount raised by any Staples outlet in Canada for a local charity – which helped supply more than 450 students with school supplies.

“The staff totally gets behind it,” said Vernon Staples manager Jamie Wattie of her store’s fundraising efforts. “We do baking, have bake sales, a Jeans Day where staff contribute money for the right to wear jeans to work.”

Staff also host a silent auction, garage sale, barbecue and a popular raffle where the winner receives a Macbook (won this year by a Coldstream resident).

NOYFSS,  the Family Resource Centre, the Whitevalley Community Services and Okanagan Boys and Girls Club Armstrong work in partnership with Staples to put together school supplies for identified students in the North Okanagan.

“As an agency, we promote Staples because they promote us,” said Gay Jewitt, Whitevalley Community Resource Centre executive director. “The money raised this year also says a lot about our community.”

Lorel Brown of NOYFSS said her organization receives referrals for students who are identified as candidates for the backpack project.

“We would like to send out a huge thank you to Lisa Gallie from Big Sun Tanning and Garett Halayko from Hurley Canada for supplying the backpacks for the project,” said Brown.