'Back to School Brigade' provides school supplies to military families

Genesis Health Systems is hosting "Pack the Bus" school supply drive. (Photo: MGN)
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MERRILL, Wis. (WSAW) -- The first day of school is just around the corner and, for many families, that means shopping for school supplies. A group in Merrill is working to help alleviate some of that stress.

Employees from Church Mutual Insurance have partnered with Operation Homefront as part of their Back to School Brigade. They're providing school supplies to military families across the state and country. For the last month, employee volunteers have been collecting items from local Dollar Tree stores. Wednesday, they sorted supplies and packed more than 200 backpacks.

"Back to school is expensive for any family, but for military families, it's a little different. They're dealing with other stressers, someone might be deployed, they're getting ready to go away for training, these kids are moving stations. So, for us to be able to kinda give them this little morale boost in addition to some budget relieving items during that back to school time is really important," said Darcy Clardy, Operation Homefront Senior Director.

Operation Homefront is a non-profit that helps support veteran and military families. This is the fourth year Church Mutual has partnered with them.