• 63°

Season of Giving

Backpack Buddies, LCBDD team up to deliver turkeys

Thanksgiving is traditionally a time for families to join together around dinner to give thanks for which they have. Local organization, Backpack Buddies, is making that tradition much easier on families in need during this time of year.

On Monday, Backpack Buddies travelled throughout Lawrence County to deliver more than 120 turkeys to local schools, organizations and individuals. This was the fourth year the organization has done the holiday tradition.

Jodie Hunt, Backpack Buddies program director, said the organization is fortunate to receive large donations that benefit families in the area.

“There are issues our community struggles with, and we want to make sure families get what they need for the season,” she said.

Backpack Buddies is an organization of the Campbell Chapel Freewill Baptist Church, and started in October 2012 with the Rock Hill school district. Today, Backpack Buddies has grown to serve 15 schools in Lawrence County, delivering more than 300 backpacks to children.

The organization has also been able to expand its food donation service to include an emergency food pantry to drop off emergency boxes of food to families in need.

Through the project of delivering turkeys to families, facilities under the Lawrence County Board of Developmental Disabilities (LCBDD), including the Early Childhood Center and Open Door School, partner with Backpack Buddies to distribute the turkeys.

“We were very concerned that some of our children had limited food available over the weekend,” Sue Vanderhoof, LCBDD director of early childhood programs, said. “Our partnership with Backpack Buddies allows us to provide children with access to healthy meals and snacks when they are not in school, and, at the same time, allows the Lawrence County Board of DD preschool to make food donations that help sustain these efforts for other children throughout the community.”

Hunt said that community support from programs like the LCBDD helps keep the Backpack Buddies organization going.

“I’m just blessed and amazed at our community’s agencies,” she said. “They see the issues our county sometimes faces and have been excellent in helping provide our service to families.”

More information on the Backpack Buddies can be found at www.backpackbuddies1.com, and more information on the programs of the LCBDD can be found at www.lawrencedd.org.

Both have Facebook pages, which provide updates as well.