Early in the morning on August 12, before the sun had even risen above the mountains, a handful of Otters arrived at the Northside Aztlan Community Center, tired after a busy week, but noticeably anxious to watch all their meticulous planning pay-off. In just three short hours, hundreds of children would arrive.
Over one thousand brand-new backpacks, crayons, rulers, markers, three ring binders, loose leaf paper, notebooks, scissors, glue and OtterBox drybox cases were set up.
While the volunteers arrived, the line of families waiting to get school supplies grew at a rapid pace. It wrapped around the gym, passed through the entire Aztlan Center and traveled outside to the parking lot. Children had their faces painted and played tag while their parents patiently stood in line.
When it was their turn, volunteers took each child shopping for school supplies and helped load them into their brand new backpacks. The excitement on the faces of the children was undeniable and gave each volunteer a sense of pride and warmth.
Last year 750 Fort Collins-area children received school supplies through the Pack2School program and this year that number nearly doubled to 1,400. We are looking forward to increasing this number next year as we grow and improve the program.