Salvation Army holds annual back-to-school backpack drive

PHOENIX (KSAZ) - While S.O.S. usually means a distress call, for the Salvation Army, it stands for "Save Our Students." It's part of their annual back-to-school backpack drive.

This year, the campaign got a bit more personal as one of the drive's sponsors, Bank of Arizona, adopted three teachers at Wilson School to donate supplies to.

"We did some research and teachers are spending about $1,000 a year trying to prepare their classrooms, and so we worked with Wilson Elementary School this year and we are giving them things that they don't always get," Jacki Grainger said.

Before the delivery, hundreds of backpacks were stuffed with supplies, including crayons, pencils, tissues, and more. The goal is to make sure kids go back to the classroom confident.

Then, all of those supplies for the kids and teachers made their way to the classrooms where they were accepted with heartfelt thanks.

"It is so amazing, it just filled my heart because I do so much at the beginning of the year and I don't mind," Aggie Nava said. "I will go out and buy all this stuff, but sometimes it's just not enough, like no matter how much I go out and buy in the beginning of the year it's just not enough."

With the delivery complete, the backpacks will be given to students tomorrow during the teacher meet and great, and for some, this is their first new backpack, which can stir up some big reactions.

"So you get these really wide eyes that are like big, big, big, but the other thing [you] get is just kind of like a shy response with their head down, you know," Major Nancy Dihle said.  "Just a quiet thank you and it means the world because that's a big gift and a big acknowledgement from a child that might be really shy."

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