Watertown community members fill trolley with donated backpacks, school supplies

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WATERTOWN — Despite the drizzly weather Tuesday, community members loaded up the trolley outside the Laura Whitney State Farm office on Coffeen Street with backpacks and school supplies for the Community Action Planning Council to give out to those in need.

From 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., DJs from Community Broadcasters took turns broadcasting live on site during the event before the donations were driven to the CAPC.

Bringing supplies such as crayons, colored pencils, notebooks, glue sticks, pencils and pens, local resident Diane Curtis stopped by the office to help fill the trolley.

“There’s a lot of children and families that can’t afford things nowadays,” she said. “I have 10 grandchildren out of state, so I thought it would be nice to do.”

According to event organizer and State Farm team member Annea Kimmett, about a quarter of the donations that filled the trolley came from the motorcycle group Hades Hounds, which often helps out with community causes.

“There’s a lot of love and labor here,” she said. “It’s not just about the money, it’s about giving back to the community.”

Along with donations of backpacks and supplies, monetary donations were also accepted. Mrs. Kimmett said more than half the trolley had been filled with items by the end of the day. She estimated that with all the bags, supplies and money, around $6,000 was donated to the CAPC.

Mrs. Kimmett noted that last year, a similar fundraiser took place, but the location was moved to the State Farm office this year and will remain there. The hope is for the event to get bigger and better each year.

“In today’s economic tangle that every family is in, you sometimes have to choose between putting gas in your car or buying your daughter the backpack that she wants,” Mrs. Kimmett said. “This is why this is important, the parents won’t have to worry about it. They can worry about fighting with their children about what to wear the first day of school, but this should not be a parent’s worry. I want the children and the parents to know that there are heroes and they’re here in the community.”

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