The Fashion Outlets of Niagara Falls USA is once again teaming up with the Salvation Army, United Way of Greater Niagara and the Niagara Falls Boys & Girls Club to distribute backpacks filled with school supplies.
The delivery will take place on Saturday from 1 to 5 in the afternoon. Members of these organizations will distribute 500 backpacks to local students at Entrance 6, near Saks Off 5th and Forever 21 stores. Up to 40 volunteers will be on hand to help throughout the day, including county Peach Queen contestants of Niagara this year.
Fashion Outlets marketing director Sue Swiatkowski said the backpacks will have everything kids need for school, including paper, folders, pens, pencils and markers. There will also be backpacks of all kinds, some plain and others with characters, to appeal to children of all ages.
“Once they’re gone, they’re gone,” he said. “We encourage people to be here closer to one than five.”
Pre-K through 12th grade students must attend to receive a backpack and will only be available while supplies last.
Last year, there were 350 backpacks on hand, some of which were left over from this year’s giveaway. Swiatkowski said he will have a lot more upside this year, so they hope to give them all tomorrow.
Also on Saturday, a public mural project outside Entrance 3, sponsored by Chico’s and Old Navy, will take place from noon to 3 p.m. Everyone who stops by to pick up a backpack is encouraged to help finish the mural for free. The theme of the mural is: “Kindness is in fashion.”
“We’re trying to get people to come through the mall and feel good about going back to school,” said Swiatkowski, with mall stores having their own back-to-school sales.