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Back-to-School bash a success

UDMO?sends kids back to class with supplies

August 14, 2012
Anne Blankenship ( , The Daily Freeman Journal

Upper Des Moines Opportunity outreach center in Webster City passed out backpacks filled with school supplies for local children, just in time for the start of the new school year. The annual back-to-school-bash is designed to help families who might not have the resources to send their children to school with the needed supplies.

Mary Ohrtman, UDMO outreach director, said about eight local providers, including Building Families, Hamilton County Iowa State Extension and others, had booths with information for those attending.

"The different providers here have activities at each of the tables and little give-aways for the children," she said.

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Sue Schmitz, of the Hamilton County Iowa State Extension office, talked with children and parents about the programs offered at her office.

Ohrtman said she expected between 150 to 200 children to attend the event. Each eligible student received a backpack filled with school supplies as requested by school and grade level.

"The back pack is specially filled for the child's grade level," according to Ohrtman. When the parent pre-registered for the back-to-school bash, they provided the student's grade level and school. Then last Friday, volunteers gathered to pre-assemble backpacks for Monday's event.

Earlier this summer, UDMO put out a call for donations of school supplies or cash to help purchase items. She said she was overwhelmed by the response.

"The community has been very generous. We were very pleased with the response," she said.



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