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End the Year With Cheer: Stuffing backpacks for Anchorage school children

Published: Dec. 27, 2020 at 3:49 PM AKST
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ANCHORAGE, Alaska (KTUU) - Sometimes you never know the needs of your neighbors, but since 2002 a project lead by the Anchorage Homebuilders Association has been helping ensure all children in Anchorage are able to enjoy a few new gifts on Christmas.

What started as a program to stuff shoe boxes with gifts for some school children has grown into stuffing backpacks for more than 1,100 students identified by school nurses or counselors as being in need.

“What’s special about this program to me is a lot of times we’re not aware of students needs. There’s a lot of pride with people and they don’t want to reach out,” said Shawn Hays with AHBA. “So what’s really unique about this program is that it’s really confidential.”

Backpacks were stuffed with toys, clothes, and treats by volunteers.

“It brings a lot of joy. It just shows us how much the community cares about kids and that these kids are going to have a Christmas,” Hays said.

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