Fill a Backpack, Fill a Need of Marathon County asks the community for help with school supplies

The organization has already distributed supplies to 3800 students in Marathon County
Published: Aug. 24, 2022 at 8:44 AM CDT
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

WAUSAU, Wis. (WSAW) - As schools prepare to welcome kids back into the classroom, one organization in Marathon County is already thinking about the next school year. The Workplace Volunteer Council’s fundraiser, Fill a Backpack, Fill a Need of Marathon County helps children and families prepare for the school year with supplies.

The chairperson for the fundraiser, Kristina Barbier said it’s been a struggle to get school supplies and monetary donations lately. But, one company in Schofield has helped fill the need. Wow Logistics raised the money to buy supplies with the help of its ‘Wow We Care Charity.’

“Because Marathon County is home to our distribution centers, this program allows us to continue our mission to support organizations,” secretary for the charity, Chee Her said.

Those supplies will be going straight to the schools this year, instead of a backpack, which will then be the schools’ responsibility to distribute the supplies to those in need.

“Since COVID, our community donations have reduced dramatically. We’re getting sponsored dollars, which is awesome. But the really nice, durable, heavy-duty backpacks are the things that we are getting from the community. And that’s what we are sorely missing. So we can buy backpacks, and that’s fine. But our backpacks genuinely last about a year, not longer. So to get those heavy-duty ones would be wonderful,” Barbier said.

The fundraiser is a year-round effort where donor dollars are stretched by shopping the clearance racks around Labor Day. So far, supplies have been distributed to schools for 3,800 families and children in need. But this year, Barbier said it still came up short, even after making a record-breaking purchase of $33,000 on school supplies.

“Just because you don’t see a need doesn’t mean it’s not there. So we never ask for names, addresses or income. We just want to help if you need help, we want to be able to help so please help us,” Barbier explained. “If you can buy something in July that costs $1. But we can get it in September, and it costs 50 cents, you know, all the better because our kids need help and we need to do everything we can to help them.”

The goal now is to restock the shelves with school supplies for next year because those shelves are empty. Supplies can be dropped off at J & D Tube Benders in Schofield at 8951 Enterprise Way, Schofield Wis. 54476. Monetary donations can be mailed to the Workplace Volunteer Council at PO Box 1384 in Wausau, Wis. 54402. Check should be made out to WVC-FABFAN.

Click here to learn more about how to help.