Free back-to-school backpack giveaway pre-registration begins Aug. 6 at National Night Out events; needs donations, volunteers

JERSEY CITY – Mayor Steven Fulop has kicked off his annual Jersey City Back-to-School Program. This year the program, now in its fourth year, will try to provide 10,000 free backpacks and school supplies to Jersey City students in grades K-12.
This year the program will also be the inaugural project of Fulop’s Jersey City Youth Foundation, which the mayor recently co-founded with Hudson County Freeholder William O’Dea and City Council President Rolando Lavarro Jr.
Parents who are interested in receiving free back-to-school supplies and backpacks for their children must preregister at one of the city’s National Night Out Against Crime events taking place throughout Jersey City on Tuesday, Aug. 6. The City will celebrate National Night Out Against Crime from 6:30 to 9:30 p.m. in Arlington Park, Audubon Park, Hamilton Park, and Pershing Field.
Parents must pre-register in person to be eligible for the donation.
“The Jersey City Youth Foundation is happy to be a lead partner in this program and give families something to look forward to as they prepare for a new school year,” said Veronica Park, president of the foundation. “The Jersey City Youth Foundation is committed to enhancing community enrichment programs and increasing school and community connectedness, which makes the Jersey City Back to School Program the perfect project for the foundation to introduce itself and begin to engage the community.”
The Better Education Institute, a major sponsor of the giveaway, has made a commitment to supply 4,000 of the total backpacks being given away.
The foundation is also looking for help from the community.
The foundation is asking for donations to reach its 10,000 backpack goal. Interested donors can make check donations payable to the South Hudson Civic Association. (Be sure to write “2013 JC Back to School Program” on the memo line.) The checks can be mailed to the South Hudson Civic Association, 120 Mallory Avenue, Jersey City, NJ 07304.
Later, the foundation will be looking for volunteers to help stuff about 6,000 backpacks with school supplies before they are given away to families.
The backpacks will be distributed in late August.

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