‘Stuff the Backpacks’ holiday drive in Marion, Ill.

MARION, Ill. (KFVS) - A holiday drive in southern Illinois is collecting items to stuff the backpacks collecting during the “Backpacks for Buddies” program.

According to a release from State Representative Dave Severin’s office, they’ll be collecting toiletry and other personal care items for children placed in emergency foster care.

He previously sponsored a drive called “Backpacks for Buddies,” where hundreds of new backpacks were donated by people and groups throughout the region. Now, he wants to stuff the backpacks.

“We were overwhelmed and overjoyed by the donations of hundreds of backpacks in our Backpacks for Buddies drive over the last couple of years,” he said in the release. “Some of the backpacks were already filled, but many were not. We’re doing what we can to provide children placed in emergency foster care with a new backpack filled with items they will need to stay clean and healthy while they are transitioning from their home to emergency care and beyond. We want them to have something they can call their own while they are experiencing trauma and disruption of their regular routines.”

Severin’s office at 600 Halfway Road, Suite 103 in Marion will be the drop-off point for those wanting to donate items like toothpaste, toothbrushes, bar soap, deodorant, body wash, shampoo and conditioner, feminine care items, coloring and activity books, crayons, colored pencils and more.

“I have been so happy to work with places like Caritas and DCFS to deliver hundreds of backpacks to children facing these tough situations. It gives them something they can call their own, and hopefully make a very difficult situation they are experiencing a little bit easier,” he continued. “Let’s step up one more time for these kids and stuff the backpacks this holiday season.”

You can make an appointment to donate items by calling his office at 618-440-5090 or drop them off Monday-Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

Amber Ruch

Amber has worked at KFVS for eight years.