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31 Backpacks readying for long Christmas break

For 16 straight days, area students will be away from the classroom to celebrate Christmas, New Year’s, and all of the other holidays that make this time of year so special. For 31 Backpacks, that’s quite the challenge.

Founders Laurel and Melissa Maki say they do not know the identities of those helped, meaning for long holiday breaks everything has to be provided beforehand. The organization prepares for Christmas with what it calls The Big Pack. There are three different days you can help.

We want to make it accessible for the community to come out, most people work a typical nine-to-five. It will be happening on the 13th at 6:00 PM. We set up the day before, which is a Sunday, in the afternoon after church services. Each one of those activities, as well as the following day for the bus pick-ups, is a couple of hours.

The organization helps ensure that kids get nutritious meals on weekends during the normal term. School administrators from every district in Houghton, Keweenaw, and Baraga Counties organize which kids receive the assistance. Bus drivers aid in delivering the food and toiletries, especially when COVID caused schools to pause last year. That goes a long way to guarantee anonymity for those enrolled in the program.

Set up begins at Glad Tidings Assembly of God Church on Ingot Street in Hancock at 2:00 PM on Sunday, December 12th. The pack happens the following evening at 6:00 and busses pick up the deliveries at 7:45 AM on Wednesday the 14th.

You can learn more about 31 Backpacks this weekend on Copper Country Today.

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