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700 backpacks to be distributed to South Hills area students

Jim Spezialetti
| Tuesday, July 25, 2017, 1:57 p.m.
Bishal Subedi, 8, (left, in red) and Rusel Subedi, 8, look through a box of pencil cases during a backpack and school supply distribution held by SHIM at Baldwin United Presbyterian Church in Baldwin on Friday, Aug. 5, 2016.
Kristina Serafini | Tribune-Review
Bishal Subedi, 8, (left, in red) and Rusel Subedi, 8, look through a box of pencil cases during a backpack and school supply distribution held by SHIM at Baldwin United Presbyterian Church in Baldwin on Friday, Aug. 5, 2016.
Haikhu Htoo, 7, (left) looks on as sister Shee Paw, 8, talks to South Hills Interfaith Movement (SHIM) volunteer Becca Kubiczki, 19, of Bethel Park after Becca helped the girls fill their new backpacks during a backpack and school supply distribution held by SHIM at Baldwin United Presbyterian Church in Baldwin on Friday, Aug. 5, 2016.
Kristina Serafini | Tribune-Review
Haikhu Htoo, 7, (left) looks on as sister Shee Paw, 8, talks to South Hills Interfaith Movement (SHIM) volunteer Becca Kubiczki, 19, of Bethel Park after Becca helped the girls fill their new backpacks during a backpack and school supply distribution held by SHIM at Baldwin United Presbyterian Church in Baldwin on Friday, Aug. 5, 2016.

Back-to-school sales already have started and the South Hills Interfaith Movement is ready to help ease the financial burden families face when getting ready for the new school year.

SHIM is planning distribute 700 backpacks to local children and is asking the community for its support. School supplies, such as pens, pencils, notebooks and three-ring binders are needed to fill the 700 new backpacks donated by CentiMark Corp.

“What's important is the program is open to all kids, regardless of income, and they do not need to be receiving services from SHIM,” said Courtney Macurak, SHIM director of programs. “These are high-quality backpacks that should last the school year and beyond.”

Children in kindergarten through the 12th grade, and living in Baldwin-Whitehall, Bethel Park, Keystone Oaks, Mt. Lebanon, South Park and Upper St. Clair school districts, are eligible for a backpack.

Donations are accepted until Aug. 7 at SHIM's Bethel Park office, 5301 Park Ave. Macurak said information is available on SHIM's website, shimcares.org, for those who want to host a drive.

“We live in a very generous and giving community,” Macurak said.

SHIM distributed 700 backpacks last year.

This year, the backpacks and school supplies will be distributed at three different back-to-school celebrations in August.

The first distribution is scheduled for Aug. 14 from 1 to 4 p.m. at Baldwin United Presbyterian Church, 201 Knoedler Road.

The second date is set for Aug. 17 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Prospect Park Family Center, 1450 Maple Drive.

The final celebration will take place Aug. 18 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at Bethel Park Community Center, 5151 Park Ave.

Jim Spezialetti is a Tribune-Review staff writer. Reach him at 412-388-5805, jspezialetti@tribweb.com or via Twitter @TribJimSpez.

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