Backpack giveaway at Fort Knox fills up quickly

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Saturday's program has 500 students registered

By Amber Coulter

Operation Homefront is helping 500 military children Saturday.

The annual Back to School Brigade is scheduled to distribute free backpacks full of school supplies from noon to 3 p.m. for registered families at Building 6569 on Eisenhower Avenue at Fort Knox.

When registration for the annual event opened last month to families from all branches of the military, the 500 slots filled in a week, and a waiting list has begun.

That’s a big jump from last year, when it took more time to register 300 children.

Families on the waiting list will be called after the planned 500 backpacks are filled to inform them they can pick up any extra supplies.

Organizers hope every child who has expressed interest will receive something, said Tamara Langley, Fort Knox community liaison for Operation Homefront. For information, go to www.operationhomefront.net/kentucky.

Helping military families with school supplies especially is important now because so many military families have members who are deployed, Langley said.

“A lot of our lower-ranking, our junior enlisted soldiers, they’re already struggling to make ends meet with the pay that they receive,” she said. “When you have more than one child going back to school, it is just kind of a burden.”

It’s good to make sure spouses of deployed military members have one less thing to worry about, Langley said.

“Even when their spouse is gone, we’re still here,” she said.

The event also is a social opportunity for military families, many of whom are new to the area, she said.

Amber Coulter can be reached at (270) 505-1746 or acoulter@thenewsenterprise.com.

Last chance to give:

A back-to-school supply drive across Hardin County ends today.

Don’t Miss the Bus supply drive collects school items for Family Resource Centers in HCS, Elizabethtown Independent Schools and Fort Knox Child, Youth and School Services districts.

Collection bins are at Bluegrass Cellular locations in Elizabethtown and Radcliff, Glendale Christian Church, Christ Episcopal Church, The Reserves Network, South Central Bank, E-town Swim & Fitness, Ipay Technologies, Towne Mall, Chick-Fil-A, all in Elizabethtown, and the city halls of Elizabethtown, Radcliff and Vine Grove.