Project SOS hands out free backpacks and school supplies - KSFY News - Sioux Falls, SD News, Weather, Sports

Project SOS hands out free backpacks and school supplies

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Project SOS (Supply One Student) is a local charitable event.

It was held today to provide students in need, with the tools they need.

Thousands of parents braved the rain this morning to line up early.

This event gets a huge turnout every year, and those parents wanted to make sure they were able to get their kids the off to a good start.

Project SOS volunteer Nichole Chhen is almost speechless in talking about the program.

"I get tears in my eyes, when that 1st child is brought in every year. their excitement, their happiness, their smile. when they walk away and they've got their backpack and they're ready for school, that's what this is all about," Chhen said.

Chenn says despite the rain, parents came out in huge numbers.

"That is dedication on the parent's part. to get up that early in the rain that we've been needing all summer, that finally comes on a day where they want to be out at 3am or 5am, that says how important they feel their kids education is," Chhen said.

Special Events Director Madeline Shields for The Banquet ministry, which sponsors Project SOS, appreciated the support of the community.

"This community really stepped up and helped us with this project. that is a blessing to the banquet, to be able to supply these school supplies for all of these children who need them," Shields said. 

And every year, Shields said, it seems like more kids are needing supplies.

"We plan for about five percent more each year, from last year. we gave out 6,400 bags last year but that was over the entire school year," Shields said.

For Chhen, she says she feels fortunate to be able to volunteer and help others.

"Every child deserves to be on the same foot starting school, this is our future generation. as volunteers, as people in the community, I'm really proud . we help our people and these kids who just need to be at the same step as everyone else," Chhen said.

If you would like to donate school supplies, it's not too late, you can still make donations.

Plus, if your kid still needs supplies you can head down to the banquet Monday to pick up a backpack.

Project SOS continues throughout the school year.

The Banquet officials gave out 5,910 backpacks this year, that's 400 more than last year.

More kids in our community who didn't show up today may need supplies, so if you want to donate, just bring your items to The Banquet.

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