August 13, 2020
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Free backpacks and school supplies for kids

By: Stephanie Derammelaere
July 19, 2019

For fourteen years Check Center has given away free school supplies to students, from 6 to 13 years old, at all of their 17 locations throughout California, including three in Sonoma County. They are continuing the tradition this year, giving away backpacks filled with school supplies on July 27 from 11a.m. to 2 p.m.

“Our major goal is to help provide children with the proper tools needed to have a good school year,” says Holly Wesley, Store Manager of Check Center in Santa Rosa. “Many families struggle with paying for items such as backpacks, school supplies and other back-to-school necessities; this is why Check Center has dedicated one time a year to provide the community free of charge these items…We listened to what our customers’ needs are. During back to school time you see families struggling and needing additional cash. The owner of the company and the COO decided to take one thing off of their plate by offering a free backpack filled with supplies and making it a fun day to get them excited about education.”

Besides school supplies, students also get a chance to win prizes donated by local businesses. The raffle is free to enter and a drawing takes place every 15 minutes. Some of the local organizations participating this year include Mountain Mike’s Pizza, Epicenter, and Cal Skate. 

“We make this event fun for the families who participate,” says Wesley. “In past years we had great participation with local police, fire department and other government agencies to provide more free services to the community. At the Santa Rosa location I got the Santa Rosa library to come out and be on-site and help to educate kids about library cards and what the library offers to families. We’re also going to reach out to the Rohnert Park library. We are always looking for things that can help our community. Before we’ve had dental offices come and teach about dental care and give out toothbrushes and toothpaste.”

There will also be refreshments for the students, including milk and yogurt donated by Clover Milk and donut holes purchased by Check Center, while they are picking out their backpacks. No registration is needed. The only requirement is that the student be present to receive their supplies.

Check Center hopes to give out over 3,200 backpacks to the communities they serve across all their locations that day. They expect about 250 participants at the Rohnert Park location, located at 6650 Commerce Boulevard. 

For local businesses who would like to donate products or services to the raffle, or for anyone who would like to donate school supplies, contact Holly Wesley at 707-568-6070.

“The event is a step in the right direction in getting our kids excited about education,” says Wesley. “I’m glad it’s my job that I get to partake in this!”