RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) - School starts soon and many famiilies are wondering if they can afford to get their kids ready in this tough economy.
The YMCA Bright Beginnings program is hoping to help at least 2400 local children not have to face that hardship.
The goal of this program is to make sure that every child starts school with the things that they need. That's why they'll be outfitted with one of these backpacks filled with basic school supplies.
These Altria employees are working hard -- filling more than 700 backpacks full of school supplies for children in need. These backpacks will help the YMCA get 24 hundred elementary aged children from all around region ready for the first day of school.
"You don't want to have any child sitting in the classroom be the child on the first day of school and the teacher says get out the red crayon, you don't want a child to be the one that doesn't have the red crayon," said Shelly Poole, Bright Beginnings Director.
Quelina Jones is an Altria employee. She and her daughter are now volunteers because they know first hand what's it's like to benefit from this program.
Quejohna got one of these backpacks about 6 years ago.
"That's why it's so important for us to give back," said Quelina Jones. "During these tough economic times, there are a lot of families in need and I know how much it truly benefited us in the financial situation I was in."
Quejohna also reconizes the importance of helping others.
"It makes me feel good to help other people because people helped me when i needed things, and it's a blessing, and honor," said Quejohna Jones.
Children will also be taken shopping, so they can be armed with more than just rulers and notebooks for the first day of school.
There are several ways that you can get involved in this program. You can donate money, supplies or your time.