Atlantic City Gives Away 2,500 Backpacks

August 26, 2014

ATLANTIC CITY -Schools across south jersey are set to reopen next week. In Atlantic City Tuesday, thousands of children received a helping hand from the city and police department that may save a lot of parents a trip for school supplies.

With the start of a new school year, the Atlantic City Police Department, Mayor's Office and Better Education for Kids Inc. is sponsoring a backpack giveaway for Atlantic City students.

"We've seen waves and waves of people coming in."

"This is just phenomenal.  You see all of the parents and kids that are coming through you know getting the bookbags.  Nothing better than to get off the school year on a positive note and the kids seem very enthusiastic," said Chief Henry White, Atlantic City Police Department.

2,500 backpacks stuffed with essential school supplies, including notebooks, pens, pencils and ruler brought smiles to thousands of kids.

"It felt great seeing a bunch of kids coming out and getting new bookbags.

"I was excited that I had my new bookbag."

"And that's what it's all about.  It's great to see the children smile; to see you know the expression on their faces," said Executive Director of the Atlantic City Police Athletic League, Michael Bailey.  “We worked extremely hard packing thousands of bags.”

Hundreds of families in need showed up to the Atlantic City Police Athletic League facility to pick out a colorful backpack of choice.

"It's a major relief.  It's more money you can put out into other things."

With the city facing tough times, Mayor Don Guardian says he wants to make sure every child in the city has a great opportunity to start the school year off on a positive note, despite the city's troubling economy.

"Tough times for everyone.  Taxes and then the layoffs that are coming at the end of the week; especially the plaza, showboat and revel, we're very concerned.  It affects 1,300 families alone in Atlantic City, so this is the year where money is going to be very tough," said Atlantic City Mayor Don Guardian.

The backpack giveaway will continue on Wednesday, 5:00 p.m. – 8:00 p.m. while supplies last

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