Backpack program in Faulkner Co. celebrating 10th year with carnival-style event

Backpack program in Conway celebrates a milestone

CONWAY, Ark. (KTHV) - We have a few weeks before Sunday night becomes a "school night" again, but for one organization in Conway, this is no time for vacation.

Pine Street Backpack Program is already filling backpacks. The non-profit aims to take a load off parents as back-to-school shopping ramps up. They have a twist planned for this year's campaign.

“We're bringing a community together, everybody is working as one,” said Co-Founder, Tim Ester.

This program wants to help your kids prepare for another year of learning and fun.

“We reach Vilonia, Mayflower, Greenbrier, and all other parts of the county,” Gina Ester said, one of many committee members who help to pull off this giveaway each year.

This year, the Pine Street Back Pack Program is celebrating a milestone. It's continued to grow in numbers and in value.

“We are in our 10th year and we're excited. Over the years, we've served roughly 1,000 kids each year that are centered in Faulkner County,” Gina Ester said.

She thinks the expense of getting a child ready for school continues to grow. The organization provides backpacks filled with school supplies for low income families in Faulkner County.

“I like to call it Christmas in August,” said Tim Ester.

Community efforts, near and far, help make it all possible.

"At the beginning of the school year, we'll get a supply list of what students need for the next year. We do about 80 percent of that list,” Tim Ester said.

This year recipients in the area can expect a spin to the traditional backpack distribution.

The program is hosting an afternoon filled with fun and festivities for the entire family on August 12 at Pleasant Branch Baptist Church in Conway.

Children in kindergarten through the eighth grade can register to receive a backpack with school supplies specific to the students school, grade, and gender free of charge.

“We're taking it outside and making it a carnival event," Gina Ester said. "There will be bounce houses, a popcorn machine, and snow cones. A lot of fun things for the kids to do."

Visit http://www.pinestreetpacks.com/ for more information on volunteer sign up for this year's event.

If you want to make a donation, you can do that as well through PayPal on the site.

© 2017 KTHV-TV


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