Nearly one in four residents of the small town of Lonaconing, located in the Appalachian region of Maryland, live in poverty, about 10 percent higher than the natural average of 14 percent.

Many of these children’s parents struggle to just make sure there is plenty of food in the house for the family and juggle paying bills while getting by paycheck-to-paycheck on minimum-wage jobs.

Purchasing backpacks filled with all the items on their teacher’s school supply list is simply not something they can budget for, even when they know back-to-school season is quickly arriving when there’s no money to add to their household budget – especially when there are several school-age children in the family.

However, this August, thanks to the supporters of Americans Helping Americans®, we were able to provide 250 backpacks filled with school supplies to students at George’s Creek Elementary School.

For the children, the fear of shame and embarrassment of they may have had of entering their first class on the first day of school was eliminated. And for their parents, the stress of worrying about how to pay for such supplies was eliminated.

George’s Creek principal reported that most of the backpacks were given out during the school’s “Meet the Teacher night.

“Parents were appreciative and some even said they came just to get the bags,” she told us. “They didn’t have any money to purchase them.”

And she added,

“The students were proud to wear them.”

“Thank you so much.”