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Screen Shot 2014-08-02 at 1.59.18 PMRemember how exciting it was to get fresh new school supplies at the beginning of each year? The smell of a fresh pack of crayons, the satisfaction of writing with a perfectly sharp new pencil, or the potential of uncreased, tidy, blank notebooks is a joyful memory for many of us.

Providing those supplies can be stressful for parents, with all the extra expenses families face at this time of year. New clothes and school supplies can be a budget buster for many families.

That’s where the YMCA of Metropolitan Detroit’s annual Stuff a Backpack drive is an enormous help to families in their local communities. Each branch of the Y participates, asking members, friends and staff to bring in school supplies that are donated to local schools.

People who donate get something out of it as well beyond the satisfaction of knowing they helped a young person get their school year off to a good start.  Y branches offer financial incentives for contributing.

Items to donate include new, unused backpacks, pens, pencils, markers, binders, organizers, notebooks, and writing paper. Shopping for these items is a great way to reconnect with that excitement of a new school year wile helping someone else in the process. The Stuff A Backpack drive starts ow and runs through the end of August. All Y branches will have donation bins in their lobbies for guests to donate.