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Ray of Hope conducting backpack drive for kids
Ray of Hope backpack
The Ray of Hope Back-to-School Backpack and School Supply Drive is currently underway. - photo by Contributed

With the start of a new school year is right around the corner, the Ray of Hope Crisis Services & Resources Center continues to work towards providing San Joaquin County’s neediest youngsters with backpacks and school supplies.

The month-long annual School Supply Drive concludes on Wednesday, Aug. 4.

Still needed are the following items: backpacks, binders (both 2 inches, 4 inches), folders / dividers, highlight pens / Sharpies, mechanical pencils / pens, calculators / scientific calculators, index cards, crayons / markers / colored pencils, college ruled paper / notebooks, hand sanitizers / Lysol wipes.

School supply donations can be dropped off at the Ray of Hope office at 113 W. Yosemite Ave., Manteca.

Ray of Hope is a local non-profit organization that assists youngsters in need. They are the agency – the San Joaquin County Child Protective Services and the Child Abuse Prevention Council of San Joaquin County makes referrals to for children in need in the Manteca area.

“Many struggle to have adequate housing and enough food let alone school clothing and school supplies – we serve the children all year long not only with basic needs but with new school supplies quarterly as well as school clothing,” said Ray of Hope Executive Director Laura Vieira-Saunders on Wednesday.

The goal for Ray of Hope is to provide youngsters with the tools to succeed as well as reminding them that they have the same opportunities as any other student.

That starts with education.

“The last thing they need is to worry about being prepared for school. So, we as an organization and community that can help them,” Vieira-Saunders added.

In addition, Ray of Hope will provide clothing as well at its own Hope's Closet. The Manteca thrift store is located at 1030 W. Yosemite Ave.

For more information, call 209.883.6411 or 209.597.0574.