Thursday, July 18, 2024
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Putnam Fire Department Assisting Backpack Heroes

The Putnam County Fire Department partnering with Youth Villages for this year’s Backpack Heroes program.

This is the first year the fire department has been involved with the program. Putnam County Fire Department Public Affairs Officer Drew Swink said the program is to help underprivileged children get school supplies.

“It means a whole lot to us,” Swink said. “Obviously we provide fire protection and medical assistance, but you know that’s in our everyday scope. We wanted to be able to go above and beyond that and see how we can make a difference outside of an emergency setting.”

Swink said the kids having supplies relieves a burden on parents and helps kids focus on learning. Swink said all school supplies will be dispersed locally. The deadline for donations is July 23rd. The drop-off location is 700 County Services Drive in Cookeville.

“It’s almost like opening presents on Christmas morning,” Swink said. “They get to see all their new things, they know that they are prepared to go back to school and I feel like it just helps them be more concentrated and centered and excited to start the school year knowing that they have everything they need.”

Swink said the department chose Backpack Heroes after researching multiple local non-profits.

“I wanted to do something to give back to our community,” Swink said. “I searched through multiple organizations, I wanted to look at a nonprofit, something that did not have a lot of funding from either the state or the county, just something that maybe we can make an impact on.”

In some cases, teachers will struggle to teach a student if the student does not have supplies. Swink said this program not only helps kids but also helps teachers as well.

“It is a vital necessity to ensure that all of their school supplies are available to them when they start back to school to make sure they are not behind,” Swink said, “And making sure that teachers instruct as easily as possible so they are not having to worry about getting all the kids their things themselves.”

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