LAKEMORE  Families lined up on Main Street in the village of Lakemore to receive backpacks for their children to begin the upcoming school year from the annual Springfield Cares backpack giveaway.

Volunteers for Springfield Cares had stuffed more than 540 backpacks for students that attend Springfield Schools and SUPER Learning Center. It took more than a week to get the multitudes of school supplies into the backpacks, but the packs were lined up and ready to go for the July 27 giveaway.

This was the fifth year for the event organized by Springfield Cares. President of the organization Nancy Rodrigues said the backpack giveaway is something the group looks forward to each year. If it were not for the diligence of the volunteers and the donations of the community, it would never be able to provide the large number of backpacks. Springfield Cares is an organization dedicated to giving a helping hand when needed to residents in the township and village.

Kids had smiles on their young faces when they saw the selection of backpacks lined up in the Lakemore Municipal Building. They were able to choose a backpack to their liking to begin a new school year.

The packs had pencils, colored pencils, paper, rulers, glue, erasers, notebook, folders, index cards and so much more. The backpacks are packed appropriately for age groups from kindergarten through high school. 

The generous communities of Lakemore and Springfield really helped out including the Port Summit Rotary, Lakemore United Methodist Church, Lakemore Lions Club, SUPER Learning Center, April Conner, Richard Cole, Erik and Karen Ricci, Clearview United Methodist Church, T’s & Things, Sawyerwood United Methodist Church, Wayside Furniture, Springfield Police Department, Lakemore Police and Fire, Lakemore Council, Elizabeth Mitchell and Bertha Leavett and P.R.A.I.S.E. Springfield Assembly of God Church filled 90 bags and the Nativity Church of the Lord Jesus Catholic donated 200 backpacks. SUPER Learning Center helped with the giveaway and donated 75 bags.

Dillion and Kayla were excited to receive their new filled backpacks. Their mom said that it is a big help financially for their family.

Rodrigues said the staff at SUPER Learning Center is always available to help with anything Springfield Cares needs. “They are 'super' when it comes to volunteering, giving and being there when needed. They are always generous,” she said.

The Head Start program was present at the giveaway to provide information on its Health and Enrollment Fair which was Aug. 8 and 9. For information, call 330-572-8353. Representatives provided information to parents on pre-school options that are free to community members that qualify. The programs are for those children ages six weeks to 35 months and three to five years old. For more information, call 330-643-0711.

Also, present were representatives providing information on the #bekind efforts to address bullying and work toward prevention, awareness and the suicide epidemic. Information is available on the #bekind Facebook page.

Refreshments were provided by SUPER Learning Center and Springfield Cares for the families.

It was a great day for all, children smiled, and the volunteer’s smiles were even bigger. Rodrigues said they will give a few backpacks to each school in the Springfield Local Schools, including SUPER Learning Center, in the event that someone is in need of the supplies.