Backpacks gift students and teachers

For many families the back-to-school season can be financially challenging. Backpacks, school supplies and new clothes get expensive, especially for families with more than one child. To contribute in a positive way to the community and help meet needs for economically stressed families, the “Graves McLain Free Backpack Program” began last year and expanded this year in North Tulsa. Other efforts also target this important community need.   

Volunteers carefully stuff backpacks with supplies.

Last year only Jackson Elementary students received the fully packed backpacks filled with school supplies for the new year from Graves McLain. This year the program expanded and every single student at three North Tulsa elementary schools received a free brand-new backpack filled with school supplies.

The entire student body at McLain 7th Grade Academy, Gilcrease Elementary School & Jackson Elementary School benefited from the program.

Graves McLain PLLC, a personal Injury firm, enlisted the help of the Oklahoma Association for Justice (OAJ), All Souls Church and other local businesses to help expand the program’s reach this year.

Also engaged in the program and presentation were Tulsa Police Officers Ashley and Alexander with Rachel Gusman, Attorney with Graves McLain shown in the photo to the right with students at Jackson Elementary.

Backpack programs are a growing opportunity for the community to directly reach and connect with youth.

James Mission Executive Director, Lyndsey Reyes told Tulsa Today that they are working with the Union Foundation in Southeast Tulsa and with West Tulsa schools on an individual basis to help students in need.

In 2016 Forest Park Christian Church, partnered with James Mission for the “Backpack Brigade Giveaway” handed out 300 backpacks with school supplies at an event at the church featuring Franklin Birt of RocKFiscH performing live.

In 2017, Forest Park again sponsored, organized and hosted the event and gave away 500 backpacks; 375 at the event and the remainder donated to several different local schools.

Guests at Forest Park were able to receive a backpack and go through a supply line to fill it with school supplies such as pencils, pens, rulers, erasers, pencil bags, folders, 3 ring binders, paper, spiral notebooks and tissue boxes. A free hot dog lunch with chips and cookies was provided to all.

The Broken Arrow Back to School Bash teamed the Broken Arrow Police Department with Tulsa Technology, St. John Broken Arrow and Broken Arrow Neighbors to host an event for school age kids to gather school supplies, haircuts, immunizations, vision screenings, and more.

Fox 23 covered the Graves McLain effort in a video which follows.

Tulsa Today salutes these important charity efforts and encourages other organizations to join together to help students throughout the community.

The kids’ smiles will warm your heart.

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