Local students will start the new school year off on the right foot, thanks to a community give back event from the Livingston Educational Service Agency.

LESA’s 16th annual Backpacks for Kids event had a large turnout at their facility in Howell Thursday evening. Over 1,000 backpacks were donated to LESA for the event, and were filled with school supplies Wednesday, during Livingston County United Way’s Day of Caring.

The filled backpacks were handed out to students from families in need at Backpacks for Kids, which includes a Community Connect event. LESA works with community partners who attend and provide information about local resources to families.

Great Start Livingston Coordinator Robin Schutz says there has not been a single year of a backpack shortage at the event. Their goal each year is to collect about 1,000 backpacks. Any that are leftover afterwards are donated to local schools.

State Representatives Hank Vaupel and Lana Theis, and representatives from the Livingston County Sheriff’s Department and Michigan State Police helped hand out backpacks. Schutz says a total of about 70 volunteers made everything come together. (DK)