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Ray of Hope seeks backpack & school supply donations
Realtor Laura Villegas points out at the donated backpacks from last year’s Student Success School Supply drive.

The collection of backpacks and school supplies benefitting the Ray of Hope Children’s Crisis Services is currently underway.

This is all part of the local non-profit agency’s annual Student Success School Supply, which kicked off at beginning of this month and will run through the end of July.

“We are estimating hundreds of children coming through for backpacks, school supplies, hygiene (products), food, and more,” said Ray of Hope Executive Director Laura Saunders.

Her organization provides for San Joaquin County’s neediest youngsters with all the necessities for the start of the new school year.

Items on the donation list also includes binders (both 2 inches, 4 inches), folders / dividers, highlight pens / Sharpies, mechanical pencils / pens, calculators / scientific calculators, index cards, crayons / markers / colored pencils, and college ruled paper / notebooks.

Among the hygiene products are hand sanitizers, deodorant, body spray, dry shampoo, Kleenex, socks, new clothing, new shoes, and oral hygiene items.

Students in the program can pick up their new backpack filled with school supplies based on their grade level prior to that first day of school.

“We will restock supplies quarterly, assessing the current needs of our students,” said Saunders, who is inviting businesses, churches, and other groups to help out with the drive.

In addition, Ray of Hope is collecting water, juice, and sunscreen for youngsters to combat the summertime of heat.

Supplies and other items can be dropped off at the upstairs office at 113 W. Yosemite Ave., Manteca.

Ray of Hope assists youngsters who are referrals from places such as the San Joaquin County Child Protective Services and the Child Abuse Prevention Council of San Joaquin County.

For more information, call 209.883.6411 or 209.597.0574.